These members of the Class of 2024 are off to a strong start, whether from campus or their homes.

VCU News talked to seven first-year students, including mechanical engineering major Samuel Davis, who chose VCU amid the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samuel Davis. Photo by Kevin Morley, University Relations.
Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering student Samuel Davis. Photo by Kevin Morley, University Relations.

By James Irwin
University Public Affairs


Hometown: Marlboro, Maryland
School: College of Engineering

Davis liked that VCU was close to home, but far enough away to branch out on his own.

“I was looking at the University of New Haven, Hampton, Howard, University of Maryland,” he said. “I chose to come here because it was the closest to home but it was also far enough away that I would have that experience of living on my own, away from everything I was used to.”

He likes the university’s diversity and its setting — “I love the area and the city, I’m a big city person,” he said. He also was drawn to VCU’s engineering programs. Davis is studying mechanical engineering, a field he has been interested in since middle school.

“[I] just like the idea of being able to get my hands on different things and build. It’s something I really like to do,” he said. “I joined a few science camps [in middle school]. Nothing as advanced as what you would do in college or in a lab, but it was an introduction to all that stuff.”

The best advice he received ahead of moving to Richmond was an old family mantra: Do your best and be your best.

“[It’s] something my mom and I always say to each other: Try and do your best in everything you do and no matter what happens around you, always be the best you can be,” Davis said. “That's something I live by every day and always strive for.”

So far, he said, things are going well.

“I adjusted to the area really well,” he said. “I made some new friends. Things are going great. In terms of classes, they are going really well, too. I’m getting off to a really good start.”

Read about more  first-year students in the Class of 2024.