Candid Campus 2021

As students returned to Richmond for the first day of classes, VCU News caught up with them to find out what they were most excited about and what they missed the most.

Senior Cadet Gerard Tenorio
Senior Cadet Gerard Tenorio. Photo by Kevin Morley, University Relations.

The Compass, at the center of VCU’s Monroe Park Campus, has been quieter since early 2020. Last week, it came alive as students returned to class, picked up lunch from Shafer Court Dining Center to eat on the patio outside, recruited students for a cappella groups and other organizations and caught up with friends.

University photographers were on hand to capture the moment and snap portraits of students against a simple backdrop for VCU’s annual Candid Campus photo shoot. Masked students smiled with their eyes as they showed off their back-to-school outfits. Their expressions showed it; they are glad to be back. And one resounding message came through as students returned: This year will be better, together, if we stay responsible together.

What did students miss, and what are they most looking forward to this year? Here’s what Ram Engineer Gerard Tenorio had to say:

Senior Cadet Gerard Tenorio
Senior mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering and member of ROTC from Virginia Beach, Virginia

On advice to fellow students:

“Enjoy life. College is going to be a stepping stone in life; you want to enjoy it as much as you can. Once you get to the real world, it’s going to be a different story. Just have fun with it!”

On what he’s most excited about:

“I’m most excited about interacting with people again, discussing things, as well as being a mentor to the underclassmen, both in engineering and in ROTC — just helping them out with the knowledge I’ve gained over my years.”

Learn what other VCU students said