In January 1917, the institution that became Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Social Work was founded by a small group of Richmond citizens interested in improving the social conditions of Virginia's urban and rural poor. Their efforts led to a training school for social workers, the first of its kind in the South.
VCU's School of Social Work is celebrating its 95 years of service during the 2012-2013 school year. An exhibit on the history of the school is on display at James Branch Cabell Library. The fourth floor exhibit shows rare materials from Special Collections and Archives.
To learn more about the founding of the school, see "History of the Richmond Professional Institute: From Its Beginning in 1917 to Its Consolidation With the Medical College of Virginia in 1968 to Form Virginia Commonwealth University" by Henry H. Hibbs Jr. (1887-1977), long-time leader of Richmond Professional Institute (RPI).
(The photograph: First class of the School of Social Work and Public Health pose with Dr. Henry H. Hibbs Jr. in front of the monument to Dr. Hunter H. McGuire, former professor of surgery at the Medical College of Virginia.)