Until today, the corridor in Wiley Hall leading to the President’s Office at Emory & Henry has been lined with the faces of men who have served the college as president over the past 176 years. Now, there is a new addition, as the portrait of the first female president of the college has been added to the historical hallway.
As faculty, staff and students gathered around, the cloth was dropped and the portrait of the 20th president of the college, Rosalind Reichard, was unveiled to a collective gasp.
Click here to watch video of the actual unveiling.
“From the very first day, I knew this was a place where I wanted to spend as much time as possible,” Reichard told the gathered crowd. “This is a place of promise. You can feel it through the leadership we see in our faculty, staff and students.”
To capture the image used for the portrait, the artist Stephen Craighead visited campus and took several photographs of the president in the her office to find the best possible pose.
“At the end of the day, President Reichard asked both Faye Stevens (administrative assistant to the president) and myself to take a look at the photos on the computer, and as she stood against the wall watching us, the artist snapped a picture that ultimately turned out to be the one they used in the painting,” said Executive to the President Mark Graham.
The portrait features Reichard smiling as she stands leaning against a cabinet with her arms crossed. To her left, is an object that has often been found in the president’s office during her tenure – a set of building plans.
“I love the portrait,” said Reichard. “I think it represents who I am and what I stand for.”
President Rosalind Reichard’s retirement marks the end of an era of leadership that has been highlighted by historic levels of campus construction, the development of innovative academic programs, and a dramatic increase in national recognition for the 176-year-old institution.
Upon entering office, Reichard instantly set about planning for additions to and enhancements of the College’s facilities. In all, her tenure has been marked by approximately $55 million in new construction and renovation projects, the largest level of investment in construction for any E&H president.
Perhaps her most significant and far-reaching achievement in academic programming will be the establishment of a doctor of physical therapy degree. The program, which will begin next summer, will be housed on the newly acquired E&H campus in Marion, Va.
Reichard and her husband, Dr. Don Reichard, look forward to spending more time with their children and grandchildren. “We love this place,” Reichard said. “This college will always be our college and we’ll be sure to come back and visit, but it is time to be with our family.”
This is the second presidential portrait Craighead has produced for Emory & Henry College. In 2006, Craighead painted the portrait of the 19th president of the college, Tom Morris. In his career, Craighead has also captured the likenesses of former Virginia Governors Timothy Kaine and James Gilmore. Craighead’s portraits have won awards at successive Portrait Society of America competitions, and he currently maintains a studio in old town Manassas, Va.