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Wilder School Mourns Keith Ready

Keith Ready
Keith Ready

Keith Ready, Ph.D., a longtime associate professor of physical geography and urban and regional studies, dedicated almost four decades of his life to teaching and mentoring VCU students. Dr. Ready, 69, died on July 24. He taught in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and more recently in the Wilder School’s Urban and Regional Studies program.

“Keith was committed to the students,” said John Accordino, Ph.D., interim dean of the Wilder School. “The love of the institution, the teaching mission—that’s what the university was about to him. It was all about the students.”

Dr. Ready was also passionate about his environmental and park planning work along the James River. He cowrote "Parks-Preserves-Rivers: A Guide to Outdoor Adventures in Virginia's Capital Region" with the late Louise Burke.

“He dedicated his career to serving VCU students in geography and urban planning courses,” Meghan Gough, Ph.D., chair of the Urban and Regional Studies/Planning program.

“He once told me that from an early age, he knew we wanted to be a geography teacher. He shared that even after 30 years of teaching thousands of VCU students, he still could not believe how lucky he was to be paid to do what he loved. I believe the students could feel Keith's passion and enthusiasm for teaching in his classroom. We will all miss our colleague—his good nature and numerous tales of earlier days in Richmond and VCU.”

Niraj Verma, Ph.D., professor, recalled how Dr. Ready led the processional for Urban Studies graduates during commencement activities.

“He was also a regular presence at our open house events where we welcome those potentially interested in our programs. Keith understood that he was representing his colleagues and the Wilder School in these roles and performed these responsibilities with gusto,” Verma said. “We will surely miss his genial disposition, collegiality and his avuncular smile.”