"I really love being able to get off campus and explore all that the city of Richmond has to offer," said Colleen Egan, ’17. "From its food scene to its historical significance, Richmond is the type of city I wanted to become connected with. When I learned that I could do this through the Downtown Ambassadors program at UR Downtown, I wanted to become part of the team."

Downtown Ambassadors focus on connecting the University community to the city of Richmond by promoting and leading UR Downtown events. Egan, along with Miriam McBride, ’17, are the first Head Downtown Ambassadors for the program.

"One of my favorite recent events was a community dinner with David Fisk of the Richmond Symphony and Rob Blandford of Spider Management," Egan said. "For many of the attendees, it was their first time visiting the UR Downtown space. They were both surprised and amazed with the UR Downtown location and all it has to offer."

University and community groups use UR Downtown’s spaces throughout the year for meetings and events, and Downtown Ambassadors play a pivotal support role.

"I love setting up the gallery space and hosting RVA First Fridays openings. This gives me an opportunity to connect local artists with my peers," McBride said.

Downtown Ambassadors also enjoy opportunities to explore Richmond together through special excursions and meals at local restaurants. UR Downtown becomes a launching pad for experiences that connect students to community leaders, build students’ knowledge of Richmond, and ­deepen students’ sense of belonging in Richmond.

"It’s important for us to have a downtown presence because Richmond is our home," McBride said.

As rising seniors, Egan and McBride now look ahead to next year and new opportunities for the Downtown Ambassadors program.

"We hope to recruit more Downtown Ambassadors to further grow our team," Egan said. "And in the future, we hope to create a Downtown Ambassadors website that will keep students in the loop about what is happening in downtown Richmond."