The Richard T. Robertson Alumni House, 924 W. Franklin St., was built in the late 1800s. The VCU Alumni Association purchased the house in 1998 and gifted it to Virginia Commonwealth University as the official alumni house for the Monroe Park Campus.
Now fully restored, the building's interior blends Victorian and English country furniture and accents to create a sense of period and provide a comfortable atmosphere for alumni and others to meet. Most of the original structure was maintained, with elevators and ramps added for handicap accessibility.
On the walls hang portraits of VCU building founders, including a 1932 portrait of Henry Hibbs, founder of the Richmond School of Social Economy, which became VCU in 1968. These, along with the other pieces of art in the house, are on loan from the Anderson Gallery and several private owners.
The VCU Alumni Association jump-started an alumni merit scholarship campaign as part of VCU's Partners for Progress campaign by pledging to match, dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000, providing naming opportunities within the alumni house. With a match from the VCU Foundation and from deans of the schools on the Monroe Park Campus, a $3.6 million Alumni Merit Scholarship Endowment was created.
Robertson, a 1967 graduate of the School of Mass Communications, was chairman of Partners for Progress, which raised $167.8 million during a seven-year period. He kicked off the public phase of the campaign by announcing a $1 million gift to the university and made a separate gift naming the Richard T. Robertson Alumni House.
Many of the building's rooms are named for donors, including Richard T. Robertson (B.S.'67/MC); David Baldacci (B.A.'83/H&S); Doris and Carlisle Butler, Windsor Foundation; David S. Norris (B.S.'63/B); Beth Ayers (M.S.'91/E); Charles Ayers (B.S.'89/B); Richard Nelson (B.S.'65/B), Nelco Family Foundation; Nancy Slaughter and John Slaughter (B.A.'68/H&S); Joan E. Rexinger (B.G.S.'86/H&S)and Dan Rexinger; Leslie Inman and Gary Inman (M.A.'93/A), Chatsworth Interiors; Marika L. Byrd (B.G.S.'92/H&S); Cheryl A. Yancy; Stephanie L. Holt (B.S.'74/E); Susan Hulcher (B.A.'82/H&S) and Andrew Hulcher (B.S.'84/B); Richard W. Leatherman (B.G.S.'79/H&S; M.Ed.'82/E; Ph.D.'87/E); Martha Riis Moore (B.S.'37/H&S); Natalie (M.S.'95/MC) Smith and Mark Smith (B.S.'81/H&S; Cert.'92/H&S; M.P.A.'94/H&S); and JoLynn Stone and Southall Stone (B.S.'71/B).