Staff and faculty often joke about winning the lottery when they land a position at Richmond. The truth is, though, that our staff and our faculty are the real treasure.

Today, we’re excited about our new provost, Jeffrey Legro. Dr. Legro joins UR in July from U.Va., where he is the vice provost for global affairs and Taylor Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia.

“He has a deep understanding of the challenges confronting higher education, an appreciation for the vital role of the liberal arts, and high regard for the specific work we are undertaking at the University of Richmond,” said President Ronald A Crutcher.

We’re excited for the fresh ideas and insights Dr. Legro will bring as we begin to make our new strategic plan a reality. As vice provost at U.Va., Legro led efforts to create a cross-school global studies major and a new global research center. He has researched and taught in China, Great Britain, Germany, and Russia, and in 2011 was a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in New Delhi.

Legro will join a deep bench of talented people, many of whom go above and beyond in their service to UR. Most recently, we saw this in Sandra Peart, dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, when she stepped in to serve as interim provost earlier this year. Dean Peart, without missing a beat, ensured we’ve been in great hands with her as our interim chief academic officer. We also experienced this when Bryn Taylor, ’00, stepped in to lead as interim chaplain last summer. Both Dean Peart and Bryn have been calm and steady presences on campus. Both continued to hold down their respective roles in Jepson and the Chaplaincy while also assuming leadership responsibilities as we searched for two new leaders. We’re also thankful that the end of their interim roles does not mean the end of their relationship and leadership within the University community.

It’s well-known that the best and brightest apply here, whether faculty, students, or staff. Richmond is the kind of place that attracts — and sometimes re-attracts — a thoughtful, talented, and kind staff. There’s no tractor beam that we know of, but it’s more common than you might think for people to return to work at Richmond after brief hiatuses. Last month, we celebrated the news that Craig Kocher, our former chaplain, is rejoining the campus community after leaving us a year ago.

All in all, this is great day to be a Spider! We celebrate the remarkable staff who go above and beyond their duties, old friends returning, and new leaders joining this thing we call the Spider Family.