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Hunton Student Center History

Hunton Hall began life as the First Baptist Church. The church building dates from 1841 and was designed by noted architect Thomas U. Walter, who designed the wings and dome of the U.S. Capitol. After 87 years of occupancy, the congregation abandoned the church in 1938. In December of that year, The Medical College of Virginia (later VCU) acquired the church building which would then be known as the Student Union. It was officially the first student center for the university. The building was placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register on November 5, 1968 and was added to the National Register on April 16, 1969.

Hunton Student Center was renovated in 1985 with generous support from the MCV Foundation and VCU's health sciences administration.

In May of 1989, VCU named the building Hunton Hall in honor of Eppa Hunton, Jr. and Eppa Hunton IV. Both men served MCV and VCU for many years, including as members of the Board of Visitors. Previously a building that was constructed as a dormitory for house staff in 1938 was originally named for Eppa Hunton, Jr. This building was razed in 1977 to make way for the VCU's Main Hospital.

In 2005, Hunton Hall began a $5 million dollar complete renovation and was transferred to the University Student Commons and Activities department in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. The VCU Board of Visitors approved the name change to Hunton Student Center to reflect its new broader mission and history as a student union.

The renovations were completed in December of 2006 and included the replacement or upgrade of antiquated systems and accessibility and building code compliance. The first floor has an Information Center, Activity Room, and the Hideaway Café (Bene Pizza, Starbucks Coffee, and a Boar's Head Deli). The second floor has a Main Lounge, offices for the Dean of Student Affairs for the MCV Campus, and a Learning Center. The third floor has study rooms and offices for the MCV Student Government Association. The Architect Engineer for the current project is Einhorn/Yaffee/Prescott Architecture and Engineering, P.C. and the General Contractor was Prestige Construction Group, Inc former VCU Ram Basketball player.

Eppa Hunton III, a co-founder of the notable Richmond law firm Hunton & Williams, was a major donor to MCV and gave funds to ensure a cafeteria was available to MCV students. Hunton Student Center is named for Eppa Hunton, Jr. (1822 – 1908) and his son Eppa Hunton IV.

Hunton Student Center Project Received the 2009 International Facility Design Award.

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Kenneth J. Jones, President


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