Menu

VCU dedicates residence hall in honor of university’s third president

VCU President Dr. Eugene P. Trani presents a bouquet to Judith Fox, wife of former VCU president and Dr. Trani’s predecessor Edmund F. Ackell, who looks on during the dedication ceremony of the Ackell Residence Center.
VCU President Dr. Eugene P. Trani presents a bouquet to Judith Fox, wife of former VCU president and Dr. Trani’s predecessor Edmund F. Ackell, who looks on during the dedication ceremony of the Ackell Residence Center.

Virginia Commonwealth University has dedicated the Edmund F. Ackell Residence Center on the Monroe Park Campus in honor of the university’s third president.

Formerly known as 1100 West Broad Apartments— named for its location— Ackell Residence Center was opened in 2001 and serves as home to about 400 upper-class students.

Edmund F. Ackell, M.D., D.M.D., led VCU as president from 1978 to 1990. He was the first VCU president to have experience in the field of health care as well as in education and administration.

“Dr. Ackell laid much of the groundwork that we have continued to build upon and which now serves to distinguish us as a leading urban university,” said VCU President Eugene P. Trani, Ph.D. “He guided Virginia Commonwealth University during an important era of transition and growth, and it is for his successful leadership that we honor Dr. Ackell.”

As part of the dedication, which recently was held in the residence center’s courtyard, Henry Rhone, Ph.D., vice-provost for student affairs, presented a portrait of Ackell that will hang in the residence center’s lobby.

Former VCU President, Dr. Edmund F. Ackell and his wife Judith Fox take a moment to pose by the portrait, which will hang in the lobby of the Edmund F. Ackell Residence Center.

Photos by Jennifer Watson, VCU Creative Services
Former VCU President, Dr. Edmund F. Ackell and his wife Judith Fox take a moment to pose by the portrait, which will hang in the lobby of the Edmund F. Ackell Residence Center. Photos by Jennifer Watson, VCU Creative Services

Ackell’s contributions include leading a major overhaul of the university’s governance system and administrative structure; instituting a new system for both short-range and long-range university planning; playing an active role in faculty leadership by establishing faculty convocation and a new set of faculty tenure and promotion guidelines; and establishing greater access to the community by supporting the use of the university’s research and educational resources to meet social needs.

After three years in the U.S. Naval Reserves, Ackell received his Bachelor of Science degree from Holy Cross College in 1949. He received his degree in dentistry from Tufts University in 1953, and his medical degree at Case-Western Reserve University in 1962. Before coming to VCU, he served as vice president for health affairs and special assistant for governmental affairs at the University of Southern California.