MacArthur Avenue, in Northside’s Bellevue neighborhood, has become something of a destination for eating out with a number of intimate fine dining options joining a popular comfort food destination, Dot’s Back Inn, and the Stir Crazy coffee house. But the landmark on the street, albeit disfigured, is the art deco Samis Grotto Temple, a men’s Masonic lodge. The building was originally the Bellevue Theater, a so-called neighborhood theater that showed films some weeks after their first run at the larger and often flashier downtown movie palaces.
The 651-seat Bellevue was opened in 1937 to serve the Bellevue, Laburnum and Ginter Park areas by locally-owned Neighborhood Theaters Inc. (a subsidiary of the Morton G. Thalhimer real estate company). The complete, if understated art deco façade in red brick and sandstone, is a study in stripped-down classicism: The order is Ionic, there is a podium (or base) and an engaged temple front that rises through the attic level to reach the rooftop.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Grotto and my online prowling has found these additional bits.
Image: Top – Architecture Richmond Bottom – Unknown
Kevin F. Hallock named University of Richmond’s 11th president
The Board of Trustees of the University of Richmond has unanimously elected Kevin F. Hallock, an economist and compensation and labor market scholar, as the institution’s 11th president.
The Board of Trustees of the University of Richmond has unanimously elected Kevin F. Hallock, an economist and compensation and labor market scholar, as the institution’s 11th president. A press release announcing the appointment follows below:
“We are fortunate to have attracted to the presidency of the University of Richmond a person with the experience, character, and credentials of Kevin Hallock,” said Paul Queally, rector of the Board of Trustees and a 1986 graduate of UR. “Kevin is a dynamic and hard-working leader with a strong track record of building consensus and bringing people together around a shared vision and purpose. We are confident that as president he will help us to continue to strengthen our leadership position among liberal arts institutions nationally.”
A distinguished scholar, a gifted teacher, and an experienced and accomplished academic and institutional administrator, Hallock will join the University community this fall, at the start of the 2021–22 academic year. He will hold an appointment as professor of economics in the School of Business with affiliated faculty appointments in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and the Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law program in the School of Arts & Sciences.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to serve in this role. I am inspired by the work of the students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the University, and I have been enormously impressed with the Board of Trustees and senior leadership,” said Hallock. “I am confident of a bright future for the University of Richmond.”
Hallock currently serves as the dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University, which is comprised of three highly ranked schools enrolling more than 3,600 students. He has overseen increased applications and enrollment; initiated a new degree program in business analytics; strengthened the college’s financial position; enlarged an emphasis on fundraising, including laying the groundwork for a comprehensive campaign; and strengthened the college’s presence in New York City.
Previously, Hallock served as chair of the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) at Cornell. He later served as dean of ILR, where he guided the school through a strategic planning process and made important investments in the student experience and student well-being. He also raised resources for investments in faculty and research and took steps to enhance staff well-being by investing in human resources.
Hallock is the author or editor of 11 books and more than 100 publications. His research spans topics including the gender pay gap, compensation design, compensation in nonprofits, executive compensation, layoffs, labor market discrimination, and disability in labor markets. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Hallock said he is impressed with Richmond’s combination of an outstanding liberal arts and sciences education with excellent professional schools. “From the creative work and research among the faculty, the intellectual energy and curiosity of the community, and the intense focus on the holistic development of students and care for their well-being ─ Richmond drew me in, and I couldn’t look away.”
Hallock is likewise encouraged by UR’s thoughtful work, progress, and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, which has also been a priority for him as dean at Cornell. “These are issues that I consider of foundational importance in all leading institutions like Richmond,” he said. “I believe that a central role of any academic leader is to help create and foster an atmosphere where everyone feels a sense of belonging and has the opportunity to thrive.”
Hallock graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He earned both his master’s and Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.
He and his wife Tina have two grown children. She currently works for a nonprofit and is involved in initiatives to strengthen families, foster belonging, and promote resilience.
Both have become avid fans of Spider athletics during the recruitment and interview process. “The amazing Division 1 athletics program at the University adds to the distinctiveness of the Richmond experience — not only for our student-athletes but also for our campus community and our alumni,” Hallock said. “We are eager to cheer on our student-athletes in person and participate in many other activities on Richmond’s breathtakingly beautiful campus.”
Hallock’s appointment concludes an extensive national search. President Ronald A. Crutcher announced his intention to step down no later than July 1, 2022, to give the University as much time as possible to effectively identify and recruit the next president.
“The important work of the search committee was made even more challenging by the pandemic,” Queally said. “We appreciate the committee’s hard work and congratulate it on its success. We interviewed a pool of talented candidates, and our committee has helped us to recruit and hire an exceptional new president.”
Queally and Susan G. Quisenberry, the vice rector of the Board of Trustees and a 1965 graduate, co-chaired the presidential search committee that included trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, and student representatives.
“The Board of Trustees is deeply grateful for the outstanding leadership of President Crutcher and the many and lasting contributions he has made to the University of Richmond,” Quisenberry said. “President Crutcher led the University ably and inspirationally, helping to raise our national profile, and consistently encouraging us to face with clarity and courage a variety of important issues, including our institutional history, the importance of difficult dialogue, and the abiding value of free speech. His impact on the University will be long-lasting.”
City Council unanimously approves sale of the Public Safety Building
The city is selling the three-acre property to Capital City Partners, LLC for $3,520,456 who will then redevelop the site into a $325 million mixed-use project anchored by VCU Health System, The Doorways, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Richmond City Council approved three Ordinances introduced by the Stoney Administration for the sale and redevelopment of the site of the of the existing Public Safety Building. The city is selling the three-acre property to Capital City Partners, LLC for $3,520,456 who will then redevelop the site into a $325 million mixed-use project anchored by VCU Health System, The Doorways, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
The negotiated sales price takes into account the developer’s responsibility to demolish the existing building and build public infrastructure that includes reconstructing Clay Street between 9th and 10th Streets.
“The sale and redevelopment of the Public Safety Building site is a critical first step to improving downtown,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “My Administration was glad to work with City Council and Capital City Partners, LLC to create this great win for Richmond.
The project will aid minority businesses, create child care slots for Richmond families, fund scholarships for graduates of Richmond Public Schools, and generate nearly $56 million in new revenue for the city’s General Fund over the first 25 years. We can, and we will, continue to grow Richmond by redeveloping underutilized city-owned property.”
“For many years the city has needed to find a better use for the Public Safety Building site. I am glad that City Council has approved this important project that moves the city forward in redeveloping our Downtown, benefits our community, and strengthens healthcare in the city and region,” said Councilmember Ellen Robertson.
“We want to thank Mayor Stoney and Richmond City Council for supporting the sale of this property and allowing this important development to go forward. Too often real estate transactions are thought of only in terms of investment and economics, but not in the lives they improve. This project will help improve the lives of thousands of families in crises and will further Richmond’s reputation as an important healthcare capital,” said Capital City Partners’ Susan Eastridge and Michael Hallmark.
“VCU and VCU Health are strongly committed to the redevelopment of this area. The Public Safety Building Project, along with the current construction of our new children’s inpatient hospital and Adult Outpatient Pavilion, will play a critical role in supporting a thriving urban center,” said Michael Rao, president of VCU and VCU Health System.
“We are pleased that the City has chosen to move forward with the sale of the Public Safety Building to Capital City Partners, LLC. This announcement marks the beginning of a long-awaited initiative to breathe fresh life into this section of the city, while providing a much needed new home for The Doorways to lodge the thousands of families who depend on our services to access their medical care. This announcement is truly a win-win for the Doorways and the entire Richmond community,” said Stacy Brinkley, President and CEO of The Doorways.
“As specialty pediatric care grows in the Richmond region, so does the need to support the whole family. A new, fully-accessible Ronald McDonald House provides more capacity to help families whose sick and injured children are receiving care at all pediatric hospitals throughout the Richmond region as well as families whose children are the most vulnerable and medically complex being cared for at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. This project is a game changer for pediatric healthcare,” said Kerry Blumberg, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond.
Survey: Workforce training graduates report higher wages, better work-life balance
Since launching FastForward in 2016, Virginia’s Community Colleges’ grant-funded career training program has prepared more than 24,500 Virginians to earn industry-recognized workforce credentials in a wide range of high-demand fields, including healthcare, information technology, logistics and transportation, education and skilled trades.
Graduates of FastForward workforce training programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges see an average of $8,000 in wage increases, plus more satisfaction with work schedules and employer benefits, according to an annual survey of students who completed FastForward training and attained industry-recognized workforce credentials.
Since launching FastForward in 2016, Virginia’s Community Colleges’ grant-funded career training program has prepared more than 24,500 Virginians to earn industry-recognized workforce credentials in a wide range of high-demand fields, including healthcare, information technology, logistics and transportation, education, and skilled trades.
“FastForward has been serving Virginia’s workforce and employers for almost five years now,” said Dr. Corey McCray, associate vice chancellor for programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges. “With the pandemic driving the need for a skilled workforce, now more than ever, short-term, affordable training is critically important, and we’re thankful that FastForward can be that resource for Virginians in need of a leg up.”
The survey reports experiences from 289 respondents who earned workforce credentials between July 2019 and March 2020, and found that, in addition to wage increases, students reported quality-of-life enhancements:
- 83% of graduates have work that offers paid-vacation time
- 81% reported employer-paid medical insurance
- 87% reported satisfaction with their work schedule
On average, FastForward students are older than a traditional college student, averaging 35 years old, and three out of four are new to community college. Additionally, more than 40% of FastForward students are minorities. The survey also found that more than 60% have dependents.