november newsletter


In August, we welcomed a new Executive Director and a new class! Vann Graves, our new Executive Director, joined us in mid-August. After an intensive, year-long search, we were thrilled to find the perfect person for the next generation of leadership at the Brandcenter. Vann has 20+ years of experience as an Art Director/Creative Director working for great agencies like BBDO and McCann. He was most recently the Chief Creative Officer at JWT in Atlanta. Read more about Vann here and here.

We greeted 106 new students (The Class of 2020) at Orientation on August. 21st. Our incoming class represents 23 states and a variety of backgrounds and life experiences (everything from communications and studio art majors to business and geography majors.) Their average age is 25, and 73% of them had prior work experience. They are 25% minority and 61% female. Our Fall 2019 application is now live! You can request it here. We will take applications on Feb. 1st (early decision) and April 1st (regular decision.)


When Salome Guruli (AD, 2020) finished her undergrad degree in fashion design, she was sure she wanted to work as a member of a team; a designer focused on execution, with no interest in leading a team. She saw creation and leadership as separate functions. After seven years of working for a number of design firms, seeing first-hand the importance of leadership in creative work, she changed her mind. She realized she wanted the responsibility of being confronted by a variety of challenges. She came to understand that her creativity would be helped, not undermined, by engaging with the business side of the industry. This is what led her to the VCU Brandcenter.


Congrats to Raunak Munot (CBM, 2010.) Last month, Colgate-Palmolive purchased a 14% stake in Bombay Shaving Company, a subscription based men's grooming company he started in New Delhi in 2016. The company started with six products and has expanded to 32 products including razors, blades, facial scrub, shaving cream, post-shave beams, shaving brushes, towels and travel kits. The investment from Colgate-Palmolive will help Bombay Shaving Company with product development, scaling distribution and building the brand. This investment marks Colgate-Palmolive's first debut in the Indian consumer brand space.


Raj Kuppusamy (XD, 2012) and his team at Google Creative Lab recently created a new AR experiment called Notable Women that lets anyone see 100 historic American women where they've historically been left out: US currency.

Notable Women features women selected from the former Treasurer of the U.S. Rosie Rios' "Teachers Righting History" database, a collection of women that the American people nominated to appear on actual US currency in 2016. Check out the work here.

Land O'Lakes and The Martin Agency celebrate the women who are rewriting the rules of farming in their new "All Together Better" campaign. They partnered with country artist Maggie Rose to raise awareness and celebrate female farmers ahead of Women's Equality Day. Check out the work here.

Credits: Jerry Hoak (AD, 2005), Tara Gorman (AD, 2000), Sara Grunden Kuhs (CW, 2004), Chris Martin (CW, 2013), John McClaire (XD, 2011), Christie Chaffee (ST, 2005), Lauren Tresco (ST, 2017) and Stuart Good (ST, 2017.)

If you’d like to check out more recent work from Brandcenter alums, please click here.

VCU Brandcenter, 103 South Jefferson Street, Richmond, VA 23284
804.828.8384 |