By Phil Karstetter and David Preut
RICHMOND,Va.- Wizards may be the stuff of Canterbury and the Round Table, but Virginia Commonwealth University has one right on its campus. Matt Wallin, an assistant professor of Communication Arts, works his magic on the big screen.
Wallin began his career in special effects as a lowly intern at the legendary special effects company Industrial Light and Magic while studying at San Francisco State. Since then he’s had an extensive and lucrative career, having worked on a host of major blockbuster films including “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”, “King Kong”, “Star Wars Episode 1: Phantom Menace”, two of the “Matrix” films, and “I Am Legend.”
By Eric Blackstock
RICHMOND, Va. — The VCU-TV/HD program at Virginia Commonwealth University will be offering courses to students beginning in the spring semester 2010.
Students will learn to use high-definition film equipment and produce documentary programming. Training obtained through these courses could allow for students to eventually be promoted to paid positions within the VCU-TV/HD program.
By Taylor Hall
RICHMOND, Va – Virginia Commonwealth University marketing officials are hoping to get more local stores to sell VCU paraphernalia by spreading the word through their “I Want My Gear” campaign.
According to VCU officials, the campaign launched after a heavy demand from students, alumni, and Richmond locals asking about where they could buy VCU gear and materials.
By Dayne Kaufman
VCU Capital News Service
Virginia’s five largest state universities – Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason, Old Dominion, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia – have raised tuition by 5 to 7 percent for the coming school year.
The tuition increases will help offset a decrease in state support for higher education. The state budget cuts funding for four-year institutions by 15 percent and for two-year institutions by 10 percent – a total reduction of about $212 million.
“The boards of visitors at Virginia’s colleges and universities may have kept student needs in mind when setting tuition this year, and certainly everyone is aware that these are difficult economic times,” said Kathleen Kincheloe, assistant director of communications at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
By Stephanie Power and Anna Yates
Capital News Service
RICHMOND – Near the corner of 17th and Main streets downtown is the site of Lumpkin’s Jail, where African slaves arriving at the Manchester docks were held before being sold off.
Down the street, under a parking lot, is an old burial ground for slaves and poor free blacks. There, Gabriel Prosser was hanged in 1800 for planning a slave rebellion.
A few blocks south, among abandoned storefronts and newer buildings, stands a dilapidated brick structure. It was once an auction house where African slaves were lined up and sold as if they were no more than livestock.
Those and other sites helped establish Richmond’s shameful history as a center for the slave trade. Today, the Richmond Slave Trail Commission has created a trail it hopes will lead to reconciliation and understanding.
Burial Ground, on Richmond Slave Trail
The Richmond Slave Trail mirrors the experience of many African slaves in Richmond. It begins on the south side of the James River at Ancarrow’s Landing and ends a little more than three miles later at the First African Baptist Church near Main and 15th streets.
Nessa Johnson, Richmond storyteller
By Stephanie Power and Anna Yates
Capital News Service
Late one night, Nessa Baskerville Johnson received a strange phone call.
“I think I’m your cousin,” said an unfamiliar voice.
Stranger still: The caller told Johnson that their common relative was a great-grandfather five generations back – a white man who enslaved members of Johnson’s family. The newfound cousin was even a member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans.
“Then I should be a Daughter,” quipped Johnson, a Richmond author, storyteller, artist and activist who sits on the Richmond Slave Trail Commission.
Johnson says she “always knew” she would have something to do with the history of Richmond. Perhaps her greatest contribution to the commission is her passion for the city, her acceptance of its entire history and her wisdom in shaping its future.
By Scott Kennedy and Brittany Grove
RICHMOND, Va.– A new movie theatre recently opened in Richmond. Movieland Cinemas is located on Boulevard Avenue, just past the Diamond Stadium, and it’s already making its mark as a partner in the community.
The cinemas complex was once a locomotive factory. Movieland retained much of the original building and even has artifacts on display that were found during construction. The historic building, combined with the locomotive atmosphere, helps make Richmond’s newest attraction so unique.
By Scott Kennedy and Mark Coffman
RICHMOND, Va.- Many students and faculty have been meeting VCU’s President-elect Michael Rao, who will take over as VCU’s President on July first.
His current salary is $302,357 a year as President of Central Michigan University, which has 27,354 students. In comparison, VCU has 32,284 students.
In the midst of an economic recession some members of the VCU community are questioning Rao’s compensation package.
By Jeremy Hirsch and Nurah Majeed
VCU Insight’s Jeremy Hirsch interviews Faculty Senate president Dan Ream. Ream discusses the selection of VCU President-Elect Michael Rao.