Burying Ground Memorialization Committee


President Ronald A. Crutcher established a Burying Ground Memorialization Committee in January 2020 to engage a range of stakeholders in discussions about memorializing the enslaved burial ground located on what is now our campus and the history of this land, including its sustained intersections with enslavement. The committee’s work was put on hold due to Covid-19 and the campus closure in March. Work resumed in fall and spring 2020, taking into account the safety and health of on-campus and descendant community stakeholders. In fall 2021, campus and descendant community stakeholders will be invited to participate  and share input on designs for the memorial. 

The committee is charged with:

1) engaging the campus and broader community in constructive dialogue about the complex history of the land on which the University of Richmond is now located;

2) engaging stakeholders in discussions about memorializing the enslaved who lived and labored on these grounds and the burying ground where we believe some of them rest; and

3) making a specific recommendation to the President and Executive Vice Presidents about appropriate memorialization of the burial ground and the land’s connections to enslavement, including a physical memorial.

Working with descendant community consultant, Mrs. Brenda Dabney Nichols, facilitators, Gwen Corley-Creighton and Patte Koval, and design consultant, Burt Pinnock, the Committee aims to create opportunities for campus and community members, including descendant communities, to discuss the historical research, to share any additional information, and to inform memorialization recommendations. The Committee is deploying an iterative process of sharing the research, listening to feedback, and seeking input. Recommendations on creating an enduring physical memorial will be submitted in December 2021.  


  • Edward L. Ayers, Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities and President Emeritus; Co-Chair
  • Keith W. “Mac” McIntosh, Vice President for Information Services and Chief Information Officer; Co-Chair
  • Ann Lloyd Breeden, Vice President and Secretary
  • Mark A. Detterick, Senior Associate Vice President for Campus Operations
  • Julian M. Hayter, Associate Professor of Leadership Studies
  • Jean Hines, Director, Strategic Sourcing and Payments
  • Amy Howard, Senior Administrative Officer
  • Susan M. Humphreville, B’76, Trustee
  • Rasheeda Fleming Perry, ’03, President, University of Richmond Black Alumni Network; Member, University of Richmond Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • Jamelle S. Wilson, Dean, School of Professional and Continuing Studies

These two student representatives graduated in 2021.

  • Kay Johnson, ’21
  • Anthony J. “AJ” Polcari, ’21

The two student representatives graduated in 2021. The following student members joined the committee in the fall 2021.

  • Kavon Thompson, ’23
  • Simone Reid, ’23
Advisors to the Committee
  • Elizabeth Baughan, Associate Professor of Classics and Archaeology
  • Shelby M. Driskill, Research Coordinator, Office of the Provost
  • Craig T. Kocher, University Chaplain and Jessie Ball duPont Chair of the Chaplaincy
  • Lauranett L. Lee, Visiting Lecturer, Jepson School of Leadership Studies
  • Samantha M. Seeley, Assistant Professor of History
  • Nathan L. Taylor, Executive Director, Virginia Baptist Historical Society

Consultant to the Committee
Brenda Dabney Nichols, Author, African Americans of Henrico County

Staff to the Committee
Melody K. Wilson, Assistant to the Vice President for Information Services