Behind the work that gets you out front.

The Division of University Relations is your strategic partner in solving for today’s — and tomorrow’s — communications challenges.

Nobody knows VCU better

As Virginia Commonwealth University’s in-house integrated communications expert, we leverage the power of our institutional knowledge and the depth and diversity of our talent to deliver results that align with your strategic goals. We understand that VCU is a university like no other, and we care about the greater good of our institution.

When you succeed, VCU succeeds. And we’ll do everything in our power to make that happen.

What happens when we work together

We bring to the table years of industry experience, a passion for new ideas, the drive to dig deep and a knack for storytelling. You bring your intrinsic knowledge of who you are. Together, we will reach your audience in fresh, exciting and impactful ways.

What We Offer

Does your department have a website that’s almost as old as the Internet itself?

Need to plan an event but don’t know where to begin?

Have an out-of-this-world story that’s just itching to be shared with a wider audience?

We’ve got your communications needs covered — even when you don’t quite know what those needs are. We’ll work with you to determine which avenue best suits your requirements and your budget, connecting the dots to produce integrated communications that pack a punch.

Strategic Communications

Strategy is at the center of everything we do. We’re problem-solvers who know how to juggle the big picture with the tiny details, as well as how to navigate the seemingly infinite number of communication channels out there today to get the right messages to the right audiences.

Marketing and Advertising

Public Relations




Creative Studio

Let’s get started

To partner with us (or request an estimate), call (804) 828-1463, email or contact one of our directors.

Pamela Lepley, APR

(804) 828-6057

As vice president for university relations, Pamela DiSalvo Lepley, M.P.A., APR, serves as chief communications officer for VCU and VCU Medical Center, a cabinet-level position with oversight of the offices of public affairs, university marketing, executive communications and events and special programs.

Before joining VCU in 2002, Lepley served as vice president of public relations at Siddall Inc. of Richmond, Virginia. The 2011 winner of the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America, Lepley was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in 2015.

Mike Porter, APR

(804) 828-7037
VCU News website

As interim director of public affairs, Michael R. Porter, APR, leads the public relations responsibilities of VCU and VCU Medical Center. Porter oversees the day-to-day operation of University Public Affairs, including external communications, media relations and issues management. He also coordinates strategic communications planning and execution for universitywide efforts, including student life and community engagement.

Porter joined University Public Affairs in December 2005 after a career of more than 20 years in broadcast journalism. He earned an Accreditation in Public Relations in 2012 and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Arianne Dowdell

(804) 828-8851

As director of events and special programs, Arianne Dowdell manages university events, presidential events and official filming requests for VCU. A member of University Relations since August 2012, Dowdell moved to Richmond following six years as the director of special events at The Rockefeller University in New York City.

Her previous work includes running the Association and Scholarship Fund for the National Association of Black Automotive Suppliers in Detroit. She is also a licensed attorney in the state of Michigan and worked in television on the Madison Square Garden Network and Court Television with Johnny Cochran and Nancy Grace.

Tom Klug

(804) 827-2817

As associate vice president of University Marketing, Tom Klug is accountable for VCU’s strategic marketing communications and serves as chief creative officer. This includes overseeing the university’s national advertising, brand strategy and digital presence.

Before joining VCU in 2012, Klug led the creative services team at Capital One in Richmond, Virginia, providing digital, print, branding and strategic support for all lines of business. He also served previously as vice president and brand executive for Merkle and vice president for CFM Direct after beginning his career as an entrepreneur in 1986 with Klug Design, a studio that provided creative and marketing services for national clients.