University of Richmond

Ed Ayers served as President and Professor of History at the University of Richmond from 2007-2015. Reflecting on Ed's dedication and impact as President as he prepared to step down, the rector of the University's Board of Trustees noted, “The university is stronger today by every possible measure—in academic excellence, fiscal health, national and international reputation, and accessibility—because of President Ayers’ thoughtful leadership and vision.”

Major accomplishments of the University of Richmond during term as president

  • Grew applications from 6,600 to 10,000
  • Increased students of color from 11 percent to 28 percent
  • Improved average SATs 40 points
  • Raised first- to second-year retention rate from 88 percent to 95 percent
  • Doubled percentage of students receiving Pell Grants to 19 percent
  • Doubled percentage of international students to 10 percent
  • Covered full cost of attendance for all Virginia students with family income below $60,000
  • Grew endowment by $800 million, to $2.3 billion
  • Established a fund to manage the endowments of other non-profits, at $1.3 billion in 2015
  • Constructed six new buildings and initiated transformative campus master plan
  • Strengthened connections to city with UR Downtown, transportation, and civic engagement
  • Created First-Year Seminars for all students, taught by faculty from all five schools
  • Raised Law School 30 positions in rankings
  • Created the Richmond Guarantee, a paid summer fellowship for all undergraduate students
  • Won awards in our city for inclusivity, supplier diversity, Jewish life, and LGBTQ advocacy
  • Named a “Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education

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