The VCU Center of Judaic Studies was established for the interdisciplinary study of Judaism. We encourage understanding of the Judaic component of religious and philosophical thought, history and the arts in Western civilization.
We also serve the entire community of Richmond through free, public lectures focused on various facets of Jewish identity and faith through the annual Brown-Lyons Lecture hosted by VCU Libraries. Check out lectures offered by the School of World Studies that discuss Judaism and/or Jewish culture on our events page.
Harry Lyons Chair of Judaic Studies
The School of World Studies in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences is the proud home of the Harry Lyons Fund for Judaic Studies and the Lyons Distinguished Chair in Judaic Studies. Generously established with gifts by Harry Lyons, DDS (DDS 1923, School of Dentistry) former dean of the VCU School of Dentistry, the funds support the study of Judaism and university-sponsored programs on Judaic culture, ethics, history and tradition. The Lyons funds have supported teaching activities and brought distinguished scholars and artists to VCU for the benefit of the university and greater Richmond communities.
Harry Lyons grew up in Lexington, Va., and attended Washington and Lee University. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the MCV School of Dentistry in 1923. Lyons joined the faculty of his alma mater in 1928 and was professor and chairman of the Department of Oral Diagnosis and Therapeutics and the Department of Periodontology by 1950. That same year, he became the dean of the School of Dentistry, serving until his retirement in 1970. Upon retiring, Lyons was named dean emeritus and a building at the school was named after him.