Latest service and space updates: VCU Libraries COVID-19 response

Exhibit and panel Oct. 4 explore "The Struggle for Recognition of VCU’s First Gay Student Group"

September 30, 2016

Rainbow hued artwork

In 1976, VCU’s first LGBTQ student group, the Gay Alliance of Students, secured official recognition as a student organization following a two-year legal struggle. That victory was an important milestone on the path toward inclusion and acceptance for LGBTQ students, staff and faculty at VCU.

This event, part of the Humanities Research Center fall speaker series, examines that pivotal 1974-76 struggle. Hear all about the lawsuit and its times from alumni who will share memories of that struggle and of life for LGBTQ students in the '70s. 

Also, see the companion exhibit, "Celebrating 40 Years: The Gay Alliance of Students’ Legal Journey to Recognition," which features materials from Special Collections and Archives. The exhibit will be on display at both Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences and at James Branch Cabell Library. It will also be available for display in other venues. 
The exhibit, on display in the lobby at James Branch Cabell Library is a project of the VCU Libraries and the Humanities Research Center created by Wesley Chenault, Dorothy Fillmore, Richard Godbeer, Jodi Koste, Micheal Means and Jacob Ulmschneider. The image of John M. McCarthy appears courtesy of Judy McCarthy.  All others are from Special Collections and Archives at VCU Libraries, with the exception of the court building.
  • "Trials and Triumphs, 1974-76: The Struggle for Recognition of VCU’s First Gay Student Group" will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the James Branch Cabell Library Lecture Hall (Room 303). It will be followed by a reception and networking opportunity. 
  • The 2016 Burnside / Watstein LGBTQ Awards Ceremony will take place in the Lecture Hall at 3 p.m. and also be followed by a reception. 
  • Admission to both is free and all are welcome.
  • "Inside the fight to win VCU’s official recognition of the university’s first LGBTQIA student organization" from University Public Affairs offers the detailed story and explores this historic moment through in-depth interviews with student leaders of the time.
< Previous  Next >