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2022 Points of Pride

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Virginia State University enrolled the University’s largest incoming class of new students in more than three decades. In fall 2022, VSU welcomed more than 1700 new students (first-time freshmen and transfer students). This is an increase of more than 550 new students over the fall 2021 semester.

Virginia State University recorded the University's second straight year of record-high numbers. In fall 2022, VSU enrollment grew by 349 students for a total enrollment of 4649 students. This is an increase of more than 8 percent over fall 2021. The increase is the single largest year-to-year increase in enrollment at VSU in over a decade—topping the 7 percent increase the University experienced in fall 2021.

Virginia State University ranked as the top HBCU in Virginia and in the top 12% of all "Bang-for-your-Buck" institutions in the southeast region of the United States. The list is determined by an institution’s ability to afford access to marketable degrees for non-wealthy students.

Virginia State University ranked in the top 15% of the 2022 Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This ranking by College Consensus combines the results of the most respected college ranking systems with the averaged ratings of thousands of real student reviews.

Virginia State University ranked in the top 30 in Best Overall HBCUs, according to the 2022-2023 U.S. News and World Report college rankings. The University rose from 29th to 26th in the annual list, which examines factors such as retention, alumni giving, faculty resources, graduate indebtedness, and student excellence. There are 101 HBCUs in the United States.

Virginia State University ranked in the top 20% on the 2022-2023 list of “Performers on Social Mobility” of Regional Universities South. This listing, by U.S. News and World Report, evaluates which schools best serve and graduate underrepresented students.

Virginia State University expanded its online program offerings. The new programs include a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Hospitality Management, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nursing, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Administration and Supervision, and a Certification in Homefront Readjustment for the Armed Forces.

Virginia State University began construction on what will be the largest building ever built on the VSU campus. The $120M Academic Commons building will replace the old Harris Hall and Daniel gymnasium. As a strategic investment, the Academic Commons will consolidate the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Education into one complex.

Virginia State University expanded the University’s athletic opportunities by adding three new sports programs. The Athletics Department added women's soccer, men's lacrosse, and women's lacrosse to their list of sponsored sports. Men's Soccer will be added in Spring 2023.

Virginia State University’s Reginald F. Lewis College of Business was reaffirmed for accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, International (AACSB).

Virginia State University hired the University’s first director for the University’s newly established Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. This office prioritizes support for LGBTQ+ and others who experience

Virginia State University started an innovative program to address the Richmond and Petersburg Teacher Shortage. The VSU program offers free tuition to graduate students in exchange for working in the local
school systems.

Virginia State University partnered to win a portion of a $1 billion grant challenge to boost Virginia's Pharmaceutical Industry. VSU and several strategic partners submitted a comprehensive proposal to the Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC) to establish an advanced pharmaceutical cluster in Central Virginia. The cluster won a total of $52.9 million in shared grant funding.

Virginia State University launched the VSU “Home Assistance Payment Initiative” (VSU-HAPI). The initiative will provide eligible homebuyers up to a $10,000 match toward a down payment and/or closing cost when they purchase a home within the city limits of Petersburg, VA or in the Village of Ettrick, in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

Virginia State University was named a 2022 Fulbright Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Institutional Leader. Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders have demonstrated outstanding support for Fulbright exchange participants during the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years and have promoted Fulbright program opportunities on campus.

Virginia State University received a $1.45 million grant to assist enrolled student-parents (students who are also parents) with childcare costs. The funds, which will be distributed over the next four years, will be used to offer student-parents access to affordable childcare services both on and off campus.

Virginia State University received a commitment for a $500,000 gift from Dr. Audrey Shields Penn, 88, in honor of her aunt and VSU trailblazer, Ms. Otelia Roberta Shields Howard. Ms. Otelia Howard, a Petersburg native, served Virginia State University for over two decades as a professor, advisor, and charter member of two organizations on campus.

Virginia State University received a portion of a $1 million Health Innovation and Research Grant. VSU is one of five HBCUs in the country to be awarded $200K for visionary projects focusing on health-related
research. The Propel Center grant supports faculty and students' world-class research and innovation opportunities.

Virginia State University joined an initiative that has the potential to impact college debt for thousands of students. Student Freedom Initiative announced that Virginia State University would join their Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) that offer an income-contingent alternative to federal Parent PLUS loans.

Virginia State University was selected as one of six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country to take part in a research and design project focused on building an integrated framework for digital learning at HBCUs. The project is a first-of-its-kind, $2.5 million Digital Learning Infrastructure (DLI) initiative led by Complete College America (CCA) and supported by the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation (BMGF).

Virginia State University created the VSU Center for Creative and Entertainment Arts, designed to provide academic offerings, research, workforce development, and entrepreneurship in the arts. This center will
also create improved synergies with existing educational programs and expand offerings in the creative and performing arts.

Virginia State University addressed the student mental health crisis seen across college campuses by hiring a full staff of licensed counselors, forming a holistic health and wellness team, training dozens
of employees on mental health first aid, and holding a mental health/wellness fair and walk.

Virginia State University unveiled the new “Greater Happens Here” mural, believed to be the only one of its kind and inspired by the Black Lives Matter Plaza mural in Washington, D.C. The VSU mural was completed on University Avenue in front of the Foster Hall Student Union.

Virginia State University hosted the Inaugural James Arthur Baldwin International Symposium (JABIS). The web-based research and artistic forum showcased scholars and artists from North America, Europe, Africa, and Bermuda's British North Atlantic archipelago.