Message Framework

Message Framework

The goal of this Message Framework is to align those who communicate on behalf of the University of Richmond around the aspects of UR that make it especially outstanding and unique. 

The six key messages below emphasize the university’s most vital advantages, showcase Richmond’s distinctive place in higher education, and clearly demonstrate that our students are the center of everything we do.

University Mission

Setting the context

The mission of the University of Richmond is to educate in an academically challenging, intellectually vibrant, and collaborative community dedicated to the holistic development of students and the production of scholarly and creative work. A Richmond education prepares students for lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a diverse world.

Message Strategy & Execution

Position UR among the best colleges and universities in America: Raise the bar of what should be expected from a college experience and place our core advantages at the center of what students need most.

Centering students

Our message framework highlights our strongest competitive advantages, the greatest of which is our total commitment to students. Students are at the forefront of all we do, the reason we exist.

Above all else, what unites the university is our consistent orientation towards students and the varied, distinctive, and tangible ways we support their pursuits.

Our message framework, which singles out our differentiating qualities, always steers our communications back to what’s best for Spiders and positions Richmond among the most student-centered universities in the country.

Key Messages & Summaries

Total commitment to our students

Differentiating our attitude and approach

Every college and university claims to be student-centered, but at Richmond, we prove this with our actions. We work alongside our fellow Spiders in pursuing their goals.

We have the resources and commitment to ensure all our students can make the most of their Richmond experience and accomplish what they set out to achieve — from their first day on campus to when they forge ahead into the next chapters of their lives.

That spirit extends to future Spiders, too. We’re committed to not only attracting talented students from a range of backgrounds, but also to ensuring that they can afford to come here, and we have the support they need to truly thrive throughout their studies and their lives.

Broad exploration, deep discovery

Differentiating how we deliver academic excellence

A UR education encourages both broad exploration and deep discovery, and is uniquely characterized by small class sizes and collaborative engagement with faculty in the pursuit of knowledge. Through integrated coursework, hands-on research, creative expression, and experiential learning, students develop the intellectual and practical skills to pursue their passions and interests.

No matter what pathways a student pursues, they develop the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and thrive in an always-changing world. A Spider can confront any problem and find success in their chosen field.

Spiders are remarkable

Differentiating the character of our students

Spiders are remarkable and driven, both by their individual interests and their desire to make an impact on the world around them.

But what’s different about Spiders is that they’re not just thinkers — they’re doers. They come here ready to roll up their sleeves and dive into complex problems with curiosity and resilience. They are eager to learn both from and with others, and to contribute to their communities in a variety of ways.

Spiders are athletes, entrepreneurs, leaders, artists, researchers — many are a combination of these and more. All are connected by their pursuit of personal excellence. No matter their goals, they choose Richmond because they know it’s a place that will challenge and support them.

Our world-class faculty are world-class mentors

Differentiating our faculty and a University of Richmond superpower

Richmond professors have incredible and varied pursuits and accolades, but they all share one trait that sets them apart: they love teaching and creating new knowledge — and they see their students as an essential part of their work.

In this way, Richmond faculty are the embodiment of the teacher-scholar model. They choose to teach at Richmond because they know that we make it possible for them to bring students into their work as partners in inquiry and creation.

For students, this means that their professors are invested in them as people, and they experience a quality of mentorship that characterizes the Richmond experience. That’s why, years after graduation, professors and alums are often still connected and celebrating each other’s success.

Our size is our strength

Differentiating our student experience

We’re sized to maximize both opportunity and access. At UR, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do, but you won’t be lost in the shuffle, either.

At a true sweet spot in higher education, we are small enough to maintain intimate classes and personalized attention to every Spider, yet large enough to conduct world-changing research, fund ambitious initiatives, compete in Division 1 sports and enroll students in five different schools: Arts & Sciences, Business, Leadership Studies, Law, and Professional & Continuing Studies.

Our size and approach create a unique Richmond student experience that offers both broad possibility and tailored support to help students chart their path.

We're connected to each other, our region, and our world

Differentiating our location

Unique among top liberal arts universities, our idyllic and inspiring campus is located within the vibrant Richmond region, full of opportunities for experiential learning, cultural connection, and career advancement.

We’re a residential campus community connected to a vibrant, dynamic city and region with over one million people and all the advantages of a metropolitan area. We feel a strong sense of belonging, both in our campus and our city. Together they offer unique opportunities for our students to learn and engage.

Beyond our region, Spiders study all over the world and come from all over, too — we are, at the same time, a tight-knit local community and global citizens.