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A look at Virginia Union University's history: 'We're small but mighty'

Posted at 8:00 PM, Oct 07, 2022

It is homecoming weekend at Virginia Union University in Richmond. Learn more about the festivities and the history of what is called one of the crown jewels of our nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

RICHMOND, Va. -- After a week of homecoming activities, students and alumni will take over the campus of Virginia Union University this weekend.

“We started Tuesday with our events for the Alumni Association, which focused on our VUU alumni day, and 2019 Mayor Stoney, dedicated Oct. 4 as VUU alumni day," An’Jou White said.

White, who is a graduate of Virginia Union. She's also the president of the National Alumni Association at VUU.

“Next year it will be 45 years of our existence and we'll also be celebrating 15 years of our incorporation next year,” White said.

The group's mission is to fundraise and give back.

"And when we give back, we give back in the form of scholarships, we support student programs, we support events that the university is having," White explained.

And there's no platform bigger than homecoming where alums show their support.

"It's our way for alums, friends, and family to come out, participate in tailgating, participate in going to the game, and just going around and loving on one another and fellowshipping with one another as alums, friends and family," White said.

Dr. Joseph Green, VP of Student Development and success, calls VUU a crown jewel of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“The school was founded in 1865 by the American Baptist Home Mission Society, with land provided by Mary Lumpkin, now considered sacred ground," Green said. "We were founded to serve newly freed African Americans in this country. And we have a legacy of success from the great alumni that we've had over the years. From Governor Wilder, Hezekiah Walker, and many, many others.”

That includes politicians, basketball stars, talk show hosts and the footprints of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“So folks who worked before us and walked before us who made the school what it is today. And we continue to have a great legacy and under the leadership of Dr. King Lucas,” Green said.

Not only does homecoming bring people together, but it is important for future generations.

“It also sets the tone for us moving forward for our current students to see what they have in front of them as well," Green noted.

It's always important to look back to see where you've come from to see where you're going.”

“We're small but mighty," White said. "And that's the great thing about Virginia union and like Dr. Lucas always says our president, we are looking at excellence, we want to promote excellence as we continue to promote best in class."

The VUU Panthers, the number 12 ranked team in the country Division 2, take on Elizabeth City State at Hovey Field. Tailgating starts early and the game kicks off at noon.

It's also homecoming for Virginia State University. Their game against Bowie State starts at 4 p.m. at Roger's Stadium.

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