From the Dean

May 20, 2021

A peaceful quiet has settled over campus following our joyful, in-person Commencement on May 9. This temporary pause has given me the chance to reflect on an extraordinary year. Most surprising for me has been the realization of the many positives that came out of a year in which our School, University, nation, and world grappled with a global pandemic. 

One such positive was the way in which 80 alumni—one of our highest participation rates to date—pivoted to deliver a virtual Jepson EDGE Institute, our annual professional development program for juniors. Our faculty adapted deftly to a hybrid-teaching model, while continuing to research, publish, and present virtually at conferences and summits. Our campus-wide discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion gave me confidence that our University will be a more inclusive community in the future. 

Perhaps most impressive were our students. Their leadership was on full display during Commencement: One, the recipient of the Mace Award given to the University’s most outstanding graduating senior, led the Commencement procession and recession. Another, the recipient of the James MacGregor Burns Award, the Jepson School’s highest honor, carried the School’s banner. Still another delivered the student Commencement address. A 2017 Jepson/2020 Richmond Law alumnus, gave the greetings to the new alumni. I could not have been prouder.  

Please enjoy this issue of the Jepson Update, which features stories of our accomplished alumni and students, an opportunity to support the School during UR Here Giving Day, and a 2021 Commencement slideshow. It is a testament to the triumph of leadership in a year of adversity. Together we did it!

With gratitude,

Sandra J. Peart
Dean and E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Leadership Studies
President, Jepson Scholars Foundation