A former President who loved VCU basketball

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Some of you may remember Ed Ackell, President of VCU from 1978 to 1990. In the latest issue of Richmond Magazine, page 17, there is a sad picture of Dr. Ackell as he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. As a former faculty member, I remember him coming to the faculty cafeteria and joining us for lunch. He loved to talk basketball and always lifted the spirits of everyone around him. I am sure Dr. Hunt can attest to this.
 
Dr. Ackell was President of VCU while I was a student...I sincerely believed he legitimized VCU as a University..

VCUBeatsduke
 
I remember him speaking at one of the end of year sports banquets. I think it was 1980. He was a big fan.
 
Dr. Ackell may have carried the torch, but it was Dr. Warren Brandt who lit it.

Brandt was VCU's first president (after merger), serving 1969-1974. It was during Brandt's administration that the seeds of VCU "big time" basketball were sewed.

On Brandt's watch, Rams' hoops grew from NAIA independent status to NCAA Division I; started moving home games from Franklin Street to Coliseum; and began developing a winner's image that remains to this day. It was Brandt who hired Chuck Noe in 1970, following stunning resignation of Benny Dees.

The 17-story residence hall at 710 W. Franklin - Brandt Hall - is named in honor of VCU's first president.
 
bighorn said:
Dr. Ackell may have carried the torch, but it was Dr. Warren Brandt who lit it.

Brandt was VCU's first president (after merger), serving 1969-1974. It was during Brandt's administration that the seeds of VCU "big time" basketball were sewed.

On Brandt's watch, Rams' hoops grew from NAIA independent status to NCAA Division I; started moving home games from Franklin Street to Coliseum; and began developing a winner's image that remains to this day. It was Brandt who hired Chuck Noe in 1970, following stunning resignation of Benny Dees.

The 17-story residence hall at 710 W. Franklin - Brandt Hall - is named in honor of VCU's first president.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that I believe Bighorn should be named VCU's next president when Dr. Rao finishes his tenure. Bighorn has silently overseen VCU's progression from the late 60's up til this point and his attention to detail and fantastic memory would be well served in the president's position. He is full of years and has the wisdom, grace, and confidence to match the several decades of experience. I believe his vision for our athletics programs would bring VCU to an unprecedented level of success and national recognition as we move from the Siegel Center to the Franklin Street gym and leave the CAA for brighter pastures as an NCAA independent.

Nothing would please Fred Jeter more than to see Bighorn relevant and appreciated at VCU.
 
FredJeter said:
Nothing would please Fred Jeter more than to see Bighorn relevant and appreciated at VCU.

This is a thread about Ackell.....not about your suck-up lovefest for horn.

After Ackell left this office there was a lot of negativity towards him as I remember it. But I did see the beginnings of growth on our campus under his leadership...and certainly in basketball. It was under Ackell that we made the permanent move to a better facility...the student commons, the new dorms (GRC), Cary street complex, the theater/music center, and the new MCV hospital and med chem/tox building.

But regardless of who did what at VCU, the level of growth since 68' has been fantastic.

Anyway, sorry to hear about Ackell.
 
There is always negativity toward adminstrators. Trani was no exception. It goes with the territory. Is Jeter trying to be funny? Someones illness is taken seriously.
 
mike7842 said:
There is always negativity toward adminstrators. Trani was no exception. It goes with the territory. Is Jeter trying to be funny? Someones illness is taken seriously.

I agree with Mike. Fred Jeter is the most disrespectful, pompous and untalented writer I have ever had the misfortune of having to read. Have some respect.
 
Keep in on topic guys, please. This isn't a thread I would have thought I would have to lock.

Keep it to memories, thoughts on Ackell, and condolences please.

Thanks!

My condolences to his family. I know that is a tough disease for the family to have to live with.
 
I have fond memories of all three presidents who promoted basketball. Dr. Warren Brandt really got us moving with the hiring of Coach Chuck Noe. It was fun riding the game buses with him and the team to away games. But it was Dr. Ed Ackell who hired J.D. who took us to several post-season tournaments in the early '80s (In my opinion, the best teams VCU ever had). You have to give credit to Dr. Gene Trani for the Siegel Center and the hiring of Capel and Grant. All three presidents enhanced VCU's basketball status and took us to the next level. It has been a great trip--may we continue.
 
I agree. It has been a great ride, and it is only going to get better. More national exposure, better players, major opponets. Dr. Rao, please keep the tradition growing!!!!
 
The point that I am trying to make is that you would be heartbroken to see the picture of Ed Ackell, former President of VCU, in the Richmond Magazine, shirtless, without knowledge of his surroundings. Somehow this got lost in the discussion. Alzeimers can devastate a family.
 
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