First-year top spots on campus

April 23, 2024



A group of students from the #classof2027 are sharing stories throughout their time at #URichmond on, including things like what they’re getting involved in, what classes they’re enjoying, and what has surprised them about UR. Today, hear from Abby Ioannou and Drew Borchert about their favorite places on campus, and stay tuned for part two with a few more Spiders sharing soon! ❤️💙🕷 #firstyear #universityofrichmond #firstyearexperience #liberalartscollege #studentlife #richmondspiders

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Ask a Spider about their favorite spot on the University of Richmond’s 350-acre campus, and the responses span a range of architectural and natural highlights. The discovery process begins as first years roam the winding paths, attend classes, and find places to study, relax — or cheer.

Abby Ioannou remembers walking into the Robins Center on the first basketball game of the season as a member of the Richmond SpinnURs dance team.

“The feeling walking out onto the court was unexplainable, the adrenaline was rushing, and I knew that I had so many people there supporting me,” Ioannou said. “It was truly one of the most fun experiences that I have had during my time at Richmond so far.” 

She performs at the men’s and women’s basketball home games and enjoys watching the school come together to support the teams.

“The night of the final men’s home game of the season against Saint Joseph's was jam-packed with emotion,” Ioannou said. “You could feel the excitement emanating from the crowd. As the clock ticked down and the score continued to rise, the arena became louder and louder.”

With the win against St. Joes, the Richmond Spiders won the A-10 regular season for the first time in history. “I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be on the sidelines supporting the team and sharing in their joy and excitement,” she said.

Drew Borchert first spotted the Humanities Building while on a campus tour. His group had walked into the quad, and the tour guide told the students this was the building where they could study philosophy or get writing help.


First-year students Tsion Maru and Alvaro Ledezma share their favorite places on the #UniversityofRichmond campus as they continue chronicling their time as students on! #firstyearstudents #urichmond #richmondspiders

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Later, on his own, he took in the building’s neo-Gothic design. “I thought it was really cool,” he said.

Borchert had a class there his first semester. He soon found a library area in the Great Hall, which offered a quiet study environment. “It was the first place I found that I could have good study habits, and not be in the dorm all day,” he said. He often stops by to study in between classes, and for longer stretches before exams.

Tsion Maru discovered the courtyard tucked away behind the Queally Center during her first weeks at Richmond.

“I used to take a lot of walks to familiarize myself with campus and stumbled upon it when looking for a quiet study spot,” Maru said. “I like the courtyard’s garden, and it is a lot quieter than other spots on campus.”

The courtyard has a bluestone patio with a fountain, a formal lawn area, and beds filled with brightly colored flowers.

“I really loved the aesthetics of our campus when I first visited. Every aspect was cohesive and seemed to be done with attention,” Maru said. “It wasn't the only factor in my decision,” she said, “but the beauty of Richmond did not hurt at all.” 

Alvaro Ledezma’s favorite place is the Weinstein International Courtyard, where he enjoys studying or hanging out between his classes.

“I really like the globe sculpture. I think it is representative of the diverse student body we have at Richmond, and I also like hearing the fountain run while I work,” Ledezma said.

The first-year student lives in the Bay Area now but is originally from Venezuela. “When coming into UR, a family friend put me in contact with her friend's daughter who was also a Venezuelan and an incoming freshman at UR,” Ledezma said. “Today we're really good friends.”

He first heard about the University from his college counselor. “I loved seeing the architecture and natural beauty that we have on campus.”