March 17, 2023
VCU is in the middle of it all
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About 5 ways VCU is uncommon: In this series, we explore how VCU students learn, grow and challenge the status quo at one of the nation’s premier urban universities.
Virginia Commonwealth University is part of Richmond, and Richmond is part of us.
Home to 1.2 million people, Richmond – Virginia’s capital city – has been called:
It’s one of the best places to start a business, and plenty of alumni do: Virginia is home to 320-plus VCU alumni-owned businesses, more than 180 based in Richmond alone. VCU alumni reported owning more than 480 businesses in January 2023. Of those, 38% were owned by Black and Indigenous people of color, and 47% were women-owned.
And you don’t have to wait until you graduate to start your business: VCU’s da Vinci Center has supported 116 student startups that have raised $5 million-plus in investment, revenue and acquisitions since 2018.
It’s a great place to find a job too: In 2021, LinkedIn ranked Richmond 9th in the nation for cities with the highest hiring rates and number of open jobs. Richmond has the highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies – eight – of any urban location in Virginia, and our health sciences campus is across the street from VA Bio+Tech Park, home to nearly 70 companies.
VCU is where everything is happening. We’re steps away from theaters, art galleries, music venues and restaurants. We’re within 2 miles of art and history museums and the magnificent James River Parks system with 600-plus acres to explore – our Outdoor Adventure Program can help you make the most of it. We’re also just a few miles from a minor-league baseball stadium and athletics complex, where many VCU athletes compete.
On campus, our Siegel Center (one of the loudest!) is the home court for our Division I basketball and volleyball teams – just a few of the 17 teams that compete in the NCAA Division I Atlantic 10 conference – and home to our legendary pep band, The Peppas.
And in the middle of it all, we have a campus – multiple campuses, in fact – with state-of-the-art facilities. Our Monroe Park Campus features residence halls and academic buildings interspersed with businesses and apartments, all centered around 7.5-acre Monroe Park, the city’s oldest park. Our health sciences campus, just blocks from the State Capitol and City Hall, serves health sciences students and, through VCU Health and our Level I Trauma Center, patients from the Richmond community and beyond.
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Getting around is easy. Richmond boasts an international airport and two Amtrak stations with service along the East Coast. We’re Virginia’s most bike-friendly university and in the top 40 nationwide. And with the city’s GRTC bus service running right through campus with free access for all students, from here, you can go just about anywhere.
Whether you're venturing out or sticking around on campus, VCU takes supporting and caring for students seriously, and you can read how we go about doing that in the next part of our 5 Ways VCU is Uncommon series.