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Sunday, December 05, 2021

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Tinina Cade to retire in Feb. 2022 following 35-year career

The Main mural painted on the wall within the Multicultural Student Space.
The Main mural painted on the wall within the Multicultural Student Space.

Tinina Cade will retire from her positions as associate vice president for student development and director of the Student Center for Equity and Inclusion, according to an email sent by Vice President for Student Development Steve Bisese to students, faculty and staff on Oct. 13.

Cade plans to retire in February 2022 after working at the University of Richmond since 1987, according to Bisese’s email. 

Cade was the pioneer of the Multicultural Affairs Office, Bisese said in an interview with The Collegian. 

“She really built the foundation for what we now call diversity work,” Bisese said. “She really did it all. She had one little office, and she had no help for many years.”

In her 35 years at UR, Cade created initiatives such as pre-orientation programs for first-years, affinity groups for students of different ethnic backgrounds and the Oliver Hill Scholars program, Bisese wrote.

Cade recalled the start of her career at UR in an interview with The Collegian.

“It was exciting and a bit daunting because these were new initiatives,” she said. 

At the time the university hired Cade, UR faced difficulties attracting and retaining students of color -- particularly Black students, Cade said. One of her initiatives, the Oliver Hill Scholars Program, is a scholarship program for accomplished students interested in building a multicultural community of learners. 

“As a scholar, I definitely see Dr. Cade as my mom away from home,” senior Oliver Hill Scholar Tiara Fulmore said.  

Cade helped mold students into their best selves so that they were ready to enter and conquer the world, Fulmore added. 

“She is our pastry chef, and we are the unbaked cookies,” Fulmore said in regard to Cade’s role. “She adds ingredients, taking away certain things… When we graduate, we become a ‘full-baked cookie,’ as she says.

“No matter what I need -- whether it’s academically related, emotional, anything -- I know I can always go to her office.”

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Sophomore Kerry-Ann Moyo met Cade when she was struggling to carry her things across campus, and Cade offered her a ride. As an international student, she did not know many people on campus, Moyo said.

“[Cade] asked, ‘Who’s your community? Who do you have here?’ and then she said, ‘I’m your community from now on,” Moyo said. Cade showed her love she had never seen from a stranger, Moyo added.

The Student Center for Equity and Inclusion initiated a number of affinity groups that act as networks where marginalized groups meet and talk about different topics. 

Cade led the Women of Color group and facilitated discussions ranging from academics to personal relationships.

“That was another avenue where she was just really bringing people together,” Moyo said. Through the affinity group, Moyo met some of her best friends and eventually became a student facilitator for the program, Moyo added. 

Following her retirement, Cade plans to spend more time with her family and to work with her daughter, UR Alum Dr. Camille T.C. Hammond, on Hammond’s non-profit. The non-profit, the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, is named after Cade because she was a surrogate mother for Hammond’s triplets. 

“U of R has constantly changed, but change is slow,” Cade said. “There have been a lot of progressive things that have happened on campus, but has it changed to the point that this is the most welcoming environment for people of color? No, I don’t think so.”

Cade plans to retire after UR’s Black Excellence Gala in February 2022, and the administration will start a national search for her replacement around this time, Bisese said. The Black Excellence Gala is another program started by Cade that seeks to honor the accomplishments of unrepresented students at UR.

“Dr. Cade has always invested in us. She has always fought for us. She has always fought for our voices to be heard, and, honestly, her leaving will leave a very big gap in the community” Moyo said. “Whoever the administration gets, they better have a heart as big as Dr Cade’s [...] they need to be a huge advocate for marginalized communities to be heard, to be seen and to be valued.”

Fulmore reflected that UR would be different without Cade. 

“I don’t even think UR knows what it is without Dr. Cade,” Fulmore said. “I hope they’re looking for someone who is really willing to put the time and effort into this position and make this another part of their life like she did.”

Contact features writer Lillian Tzanev at lillian.tzanev@richmond.edu

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