PACME Awards, from 2nd from left to 2nd from right: Austin Higgs, Selamawit Hailu, Charlene Crawley, Sasha Spruill, and Wendy Kliewer

Call for nominations: 2018 PACME Awards


To the VCU Community:

Virginia Commonwealth University proudly champions diversity as a core value, and engages in initiatives that create and nurture a dynamic and inclusive learning environment in which individuals of differing perspectives, life experiences, and cultural backgrounds are welcomed, valued, and supported.

I am pleased to request nominations for the 2018 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) that will be presented on Thursday, April 26, 2018, at 3:00 p.m., in the University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms.

Every person and organizational unit recognizes and contributes to the advancement of a diverse environment, which is an integral part of VCU’s mission.  Annually, the university honors individuals who have made significant contributions toward enhancing VCU’s commitment to diversity by presenting the Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment.

Four separate awards are given to recognize a student or student organization (includes postdoctoral fellows), a faculty member (includes training and research faculty), a classified or hourly staff member (includes university and academic professionals), and an administrator, for their outstanding service.  Each award winner will receive $500.  In addition, one of the four recipients will be selected to receive the capstone award – The Riese-Melton.  This special award is given for contributions made in advancing cross-cultural relations, and the awardee will receive an additional $250 gift.

The Riese-Melton award is a long tradition at VCU and is named for two pathfinders in our institution’s history who dared to reach across the racial divide during less enlightened times.  Dr. Walter J. Riese served as professor of neurology and psychiatry at our medical center.  During his tenure, he championed the rights of African American employees during a time when it was unpopular to take that stand.  One of these employees was Mr. Herman Melton, who worked at the medical center for more than 50 years.  We continue the award because it reminds us of these individuals in our own past who created a culture of diversity that endures to this day.

Nominations should be submitted electronically

Instructions and Nomination Form can be found here

Please note that nominations are due electronically by March 16, 2018

Please help to recognize campus and community leadership that creates a more inclusive community by nominating a deserving member of the faculty or staff, or student body at VCU for the PACME.  I am convinced that the creation of a more diverse and inclusive educational community can only be achieved through a concerted effort that engages the participation of a broad and diverse community of people.  Thank you for taking time to nominate your fellow colleagues and students, and for supporting my personal passion to advance diversity at VCU.  Your dedication to embracing diversity at VCU is appreciated.

Best wishes,

Michael Rao
President, VCU and VCU Health