VCU Marks Inauguration of President Michael Rao with Multiple Events in October

Editors: Media access/credential details for the inauguration ceremony will be sent closer to the date.

Virginia Commonwealth University will inaugurate Michael Rao, Ph.D., as its fifth president on Oct. 14, marking the event with two weeks of activities designed to highlight the urban university’s commitment to student success, academic excellence, research and human health.

The ceremony will take place on Friday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. until noon at the VCU Siegel Center. The inauguration is a significant event in the university's history that will honor the traditions of higher education while focusing on the future of VCU.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be the keynote speaker.

VCU also is kicking off a new tradition by recognizing the inaugural class of "University Scholars," current undergraduate students who have completed 54-84 credits and have attained outstanding academic achievement.

“The VCU Board of Visitors is proud to officially install Dr. Rao as president,” said VCU Rector Thomas G. Snead Jr. “This is a watershed moment in VCU’s history as the school is positioning itself to become one of the top research universities in the commonwealth, is acknowledging its scholars and is highlighting the commitment to human health for which it is already known.”

Events set around the inauguration include a research lecture series, a university-wide food drive, and student events that showcase sustainability efforts at VCU. A calendar of events includes dates and times for all the activities.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see