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New Spaces for Today's Students

The academic library of the 21st century is a vibrant, information-enriched community of creativity, collaboration and quiet reflection. New spaces will reflect that diverse academic learning and research culture. Giving opportunities at every financial level include these marquee examples. 

Investment Opportunities and Prices

Art and Effe

The glass-fronted, towering Grand Entrance will face Shafer Court. A dramatic and unique feature will be a large-scale (19 feet by 23 feet wide) Display Wall (“Vitrine”). VCU’s Vitrine is inspired by the common definition of the word: a glass display case or cabinet for works of art and curios. This public Vitrine will be seen clearly day or night from as far away as Broad Street and Monroe Park as people approach campus center via Shafer-Linden-Cathedral walkways. The Display Wall will showcase content—still or video images or kinetic or static art—both inside and outside of the building.

Overlooking the teeming center of pedestrian traffic at the heart of the Monroe Park Campus, millions of eyes will see the Display Wall every year. Destined to become the university’s electronic hearth, the screen will have the capacity not only to display the artistic and academic work of our community, but also to showcase scenes from university life—such as the president’s State of the University address, a musical performance, a commencement video or a Rams basketball game.  

Entering the new building from the Compass, visitors will enter through revolving doors into a light-filled, airy, inviting open space. With artistic and video displays, touch-screen kiosks for way finding and an efficient single service desk, the Grand Entrance will orient visitors quickly to essential services and amenities—public workspaces and computers, an expanded Starbucks Café, librarian experts, upper-floor study spaces. The current dramatic double staircase will be updated and refurbished in granite and stainless steel. Many features will showcase the visual arts.

Funding and naming opportunities include these prominent spaces:

  • Vitrine Display Wall facing Shafer Court
  • Entrance from Shafer Court with dynamic art installation
  • Feature walls in high-traffic areas
  • Art Walls and Gallery Spaces in prominent locations

Convene and Collaborate

  • 300-seat media-rich auditorium to serve the some 5,000 Central Virginians who attend our events every year
  • Outdoor Terrace for study and events
  • Reception Space and Conference Rooms for students and the VCU community to use
  • Three Seasons Room, a screened porch-style study space perched on the third floor above the university’s busiest pedestrian corridor.

Study and Reflect 

  • Revitalized and expanded Special Collections and Archives spaces, including a much larger Reading Room designed specifically to enhance the use of invaluable rare materials
  • A massive new Quiet Reading Room
  • Graduate Student and Faculty Research Center with seating for 120 

Create and Make

The new Innovative Media Studio will become the university’s center for the creative communication of ideas and experimentation in the digital environment. The Studio will support media-enabled storytelling, scholarship, exploration and visualization of data, and learning for all disciplines and at all levels across the VCU community. Created in the technology-rich lower level of the new library building, this welcoming space will offer exciting creation suites, expert instruction and services designed for making multimedia magic. Within those workspaces, the technical tools will be continually updated. Proposed spaces include:   

  • Makerspace for hands-on work with 3-D printers and scanners, laser cutter, wearable computing and other tools and craft supplies
  • Audio Recording Studio for recording, remixing and experimenting with music, speech and sound
  • Video Recording Studio with green and blue screens and high-end camera equipment for video production
  • High-end computing and visualization equipment with wide-bandwidth connections to facilitate manipulation and visualization of data in sciences and social sciences
  • Planning, Viewing and Gaming Room equipped with current and vintage gaming systems, high-definition 3-D screen, media distribution system and related technologies
  • Technology-rich collaborative workstations, including hardware and software support for audiovisual creation, project editing and 3-D animation
  • A panoramic 22-foot-diameter wrap-around virtual-reality room with high-definition 2-D/3-D displays for immersive visualization

To learn more about these giving opportunities, please contact Kimberly Separ, director of development and community relations, at or (804) 827-1163.

VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-1111
All Libraries
Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-0636

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