RPI: A message from Gene Hunt

A message from Gene Hunt, Ph.D. (B.S.’59/B; M.S.’61/B), president of the Richmond Professional Institute Alumni Council:

Recently, I was introduced to an RPI alumna. We began talking about our experiences at RPI when I discovered that she had never seen the sculpture, titled the “Tableith.” Well, she got my usual lecture titled, “Tableith 101,” on the history and construction of the sculpture honoring the RPI years at our great university. What amazes me is the number of RPI graduates who have never seen the “Tableith” at 901 W. Franklin St. If you are one of those, make it a point of seeing the sculpture done by Charles Ponticello (M.F.A. ‘94/A), VCU graduate of the No. 1 sculpture department in the nation.

This experience reminds me of another developing project on the history of RPI. Some of you will recall that the steering committee of the RPI Alumni Council has been given two blank walls in the University Students Commons Building to develop a historic display about RPI. Committee Chair Joe Lowenthal (B.F.A.’55/A) is leading the project.

This past month, the steering committee met with a professional consultant to help us to create a display based on memories and important events. We are excited about the progress. By the end of summer, we should have good idea of what we will be displayed on these walls. We are hoping to have the project finished by next April, just in time for Alumni Month, with a reception and a dinner during the RPI Reunion Weekend. Our goal is to make this project a part of the 175th anniversary of Virginia Commonwealth University, which occurs in fall 2013.

The third effort in preserving the history of RPI is our Living History Project. Susan Nunemaker (B.S ’65/H&S; M.Ed.’68/E) is chairing this project. We will interview and videotape a number of RPI graduates. We hope to have more details on the project by the end of the summer. Perhaps we will call on you to share your favorite experiences in college.

The RPI Alumni Council is an affiliated organization of the VCU Alumni Association. If you pay your dues yearly, please consider a Life membership. If you know alumni who are not members, please discuss with them the benefits of membership. If you have questions about the RPI Alumni Council, call Diane Stout-Brown (B.S.W.’80/SW), executive director of the VCU Alumni Association, at 804-828-7020