L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Wilder School to Participate in VCU 50 Symposium

November 20, 2018

Higher education leaders, faculty experts and notable Virginia Commonwealth University alumni will gather Friday, November 30, at a daylong symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the merger that created VCU.

Commemorating History: Challenges and Opportunities will reflect on the university’s history since the 1968 merger of the Medical College of Virginia and Richmond Professional Institute. A reception for all alumni will follow, and the Wilder School will host its gathering in the University Student Commons’ James River Terrace starting at 5 p.m.

The symposium will kick off with a video about VCU's evolution over the past five decades that includes Governor L. Douglas Wilder and Blue Wooldridge, D.P.A., professor in the Wilder School's Public Administration program who has worked at the university for 31 years.

Two Wilder School faculty will be among the symposium’s presenters. Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., interim dean, and Nakeina Douglas-Glenn, Ph.D., director of The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute, will discuss, “Advancing grace as a core university value: Reflecting on the life and legacy of Dr. Harris” during a session about historic leaders from noon to 1 p.m. in University Student Commons-Richmond Salons I and II.

“When the Wayne Commission formed [VCU] in 1968, they merged two institutions that had long focused on serving the public good,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.  “This year presents an important opportunity to celebrate and reflect on our 50 years as one institution.”

The symposium also will serve as a forum to discuss the university’s “complicated and difficult history and how we commemorate on campus,” Rao said, alluding to the complexity of the MCV-RPI merger, the recently completed audit of Confederate symbols that exist on VCU’s campuses and the larger discussions at VCU about the ways in which history is and will be commemorated.

Symposium sessions will be livestreamed at https://go.vcu.edu/vcu50live. Alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends and community members are invited to register and attend the symposium, which will include sessions featuring Eugene Trani, Ph.D., president emeritus of VCU and VCU Health System; Beverly Warren, Ph.D., Ed.D., president and CEO of Kent State University and former VCU provost; and Edward Ayers, Ph.D., president emeritus of the University of Richmond.


A full list of events can be found on the Office of the President website. For questions or special accommodations, email UNIVevents@vcu.edu.