We are fast approaching move-in day for the University of Richmond Class of 2023! This year, more than 12,000 high school students, UR’s largest applicant pool ever, applied for a few more than 800 spots. As you would expect, the Class of 2023 is not only diverse, but also exceptional in its academic standing (as measured by GPA, test scores, and high school curriculum) and its extra-curricular involvement.

Many of my UR colleagues and I have had the pleasure of meeting some of these talented students at welcome events this summer. I asked these future Spiders about their academic interests, why they chose UR, and whether they have registered (or plan to register) for a leadership studies class. Some of this year’s observations are below:

  1. UR is hot!

The students I met had good college options. Typically, they were looking for a small college, but many also applied to and were accepted at flagship state universities, such as the University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary. They confirmed my impression that the University of Richmond has a reputation as a “hot” school, one that their high schools and communities know and respect.

  1. They know about Jepson!

Many students remarked that the Jepson School of Leadership Studies is one component of this “hot” reputation. Some told me they plan to major (or minor) in leadership studies. Others said they plan to major in some other area but find the Jepson School intriguing and may take a leadership studies class or two. Still others said they plan to choose another academic path altogether.

I tell all students (and family members) that the University of Richmond will accommodate, indeed inspire, their interests. The faculty at the Jepson School and across the University are our strength. Of course, I remind them that leadership studies pairs well with many other majors. Our partnership with the School of Arts & Sciences for the Science Leadership Scholars Program, a program that intrigues a growing number of STEM-bound students, is just one example.

  1. Word gets around!

This year, incoming students have already heard about the many sport, artistic, and co-curricular activities offered at the University of Richmond. They are excited about our new wellness center, currently under construction. Many of them have already heard about the Jepson School’s new Jepson Scholars Program, a fully funded one-year master’s program at the University of Oxford. Our first recipient of this scholarship will soon leave for Oxford.

  1. They are ready!

Speaking with the newest Spiders, I hear the eagerness in their voices, and I can sense their excitement at the prospects ahead. Their parents and siblings are also excited, even as they realize that life at home will soon change entirely.

Welcome to the Web, Class of 2023!

Welcome to the (Jepson School) Web, Class of 2023!

Sandra J. Peart


Dr. Peart is Dean of the School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. She is an economist with special interests in leadership and economics and leadership ethics. More about her: Go to jepson.richmond.edu and see faculty information.


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