Executive summary

Three years ago, Virginia Commonwealth University began an ambitious six-year journey we call Quest for Distinction. At the onset, we knew we would change the face of our university, but we could not have imagined how quickly we would progress as one of the nation’s premier urban, public research universities.

“We have much to celebrate from the first half of our Quest …”

We said we would increase our graduation rates. We have, and that work continues as we begin to narrow our focus to four-year graduation rates. We said we would improve our first-year retention rate. We have, and there is more work to do as we implement new programs that will allow all of our students to succeed. We said we would hire internationally renowned and diverse faculty. Those faculty are now here, enhancing the immense talent already in place, and we remain committed to attracting, and retaining, the very best from around the world to come to VCU.

We are a university of our word. But it is not mere words that have led us to achieve so much, particularly in a time when resources are precious. It has taken sharp focus, ingenuity and determination from everyone at this university. We are one university with one mission.

Our collaborative approach has led to an innovative living and learning environment, a safer campus, record research, and creativity and top honors for VCU Medical Center. And we continue to celebrate global partnerships with universities and teaching hospitals around the world to deliver international experiences in Richmond and abroad.

We have much to celebrate from the first half of our Quest with a commitment to finish strong. We will build upon this momentum as we continue to make Quest real.