Inclusive History

In support of our mission and grounded in the liberal arts tradition, the University of Richmond has resolved to examine, understand, and communicate our past more fully and inclusively. Our institutional history is neither a singular story nor always one of progress for all members of our community. The University’s past and its legacies intertwine with the City of Richmond, the state of Virginia, and our nation, producing a braided narrative that is at once deep and diverse, complex and painful at times, inspiring at others. Further exploring our past, including the history of the land where the University is now located, provides an opportunity to deepen and share learning with the UR and wider communities.

Following the recommendation of the Presidential Commission for University History and Identity, the University commissioned a historical consultant and visiting faculty member, Dr. Lauranett Lee, to lead a research team of students pursuing a Master of Liberal Arts, Shelby Driskill and Suzanne Slye, to explore further our institutional history with an emphasis on slavery and segregation, through an examination of Robert Ryland, Douglas Southall Freeman, and slavery on our landscape. The research team yielded important new insights that bring to the fore our University’s relationship with the defining moral struggles of our country: slavery and segregation. We urge our community to read and discuss these research reports and join us as we confront the challenges and complexities of our past, so we may better shape our future.

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If you have archival or historical information, stories to share, or questions related to our efforts, please contact us at