The University welcomed lots of visitors this weekend, throwing open the doors of the Richmond campus to 180 members of the public as part of the Open House London 2019 initiative which took place across the city. Open House London is the world’s largest architecture festival, giving free public access to more than eight hundred buildings, walks, talks, and tours over one weekend in September each year. Over a quarter of a million people were expected to take part in the event in London.
Richmond’s participation in the event was co-ordinated by Orianna Guzman, Peer Mentor Coordinator, with the help of Professor Mary Robert and Jake Barber, Assistant Professor at Richmond, as well as many other staff, faculty, and student volunteers.
Orianna said, “I’d like to thank everyone for their fantastic support in making this weekend such a big success. It would not have gone smoothly without the help of some of my Peer Mentors, Res Life, and the Transitions II volunteers. Everyone did a great job and I’m happy we had such a good turnout.”
From the University’s historic buildings to the beautiful five-acre grounds, the visitors enjoyed the photographic display which illustrated how the main building used to look, together with letters and poetry written by the seminarians who lived in the building, and copies of the hymns they sang.
The visitors were also very interested in the flora of the campus, particularly the trees. Richmond’s extensive gardens contain many rare specimens of plants and trees, some gathered and planted by the missionaries from their journeys abroad, many of which are registered with Kew Gardens.
The construction of the main Richmond building began in 1841 and was completed in 1843, when it opened with 41 students in residence as the southern branch of the Wesleyan Theological Institute, later a part of the University of London as Richmond (Theological) College.
Today, the building is a proud symbol of Richmond’s heritage and home to many international students, where two of the finest education systems in the world are combined – the US broad curriculum with the British system of specialisation.