Jean H. Proffitt, C’83, is a beloved member of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies community. She was part of the school community when it was founded as University College in 1962, located at the downtown campus on Lombardy Street, and housed both an evening program and a two-year junior college.

The School has undergone considerable changes since Proffitt retired in 1996 after 38 years of service, but her legacy remains indelibly imprinted on SPCS. Each year, the student body nominates a graduating student to receive the Jean H. Proffitt Student Service Award, which honors service to the School of Professional & Continuing Studies. The School awards the Jean H. Proffitt Scholarship to one or more deserving SPCS students who need a little extra financial support. And staff and faculty members who’ve been around long enough fondly remember the joy of working with Proffitt as she worked as a student advisor.

On April 17, Proffitt’s letter to the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch encouraged readers to support the READ Center, a literacy agency Proffitt co-founded that teaches adults to read, giving hope for the future in our literate world. In that letter, Proffitt reminded all who know her of her passion for continually learning and growing. That passion led her to support students throughout more than three decades of service at the University of Richmond, and that same passion leads her to continue — at age 87 — to engage in what she calls “her life’s mission” of supporting adult literacy.

In a 2012 interview recorded while preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies, Proffitt called this passion her “niche”: the place where she found herself most able to do good for others.

As you watch Proffitt in SPCS 50th anniversary interview footage, you’ll immediately see that her passion for service permeates her life. We at the School of Professional & Continuing Studies are proud to call her ours. She has always found her niche, and we’re forever grateful it was here for so many years.