Skip to main content

VCU Gay Alliance of Students collection

Identifier: M 357

Scope and Contents

The collection was compiled by the donor, Walter Foery, a founding member of the VCU Gay Students Alliance organization. The materials in the collection help document the founding of the student organization at VCU, their efforts to be recognized by VCU as any other student organization, and the lawsuit initiated by the students. The items date from 1974 through 1976 and include correspondence, court documents, newspaper clippings, and magazines.


  • 1974-1976


Access Restrictions

Collection open for research.

Historical Information

The Gay Alliance of Students (GAS) was founded as a student organization on September 1, 1974, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond Virginia. GAS was organized to create a "unified support community for men and women of all sexual orientations, serve as an informative resource to the university and surrounding community, and assist the university in creating a positive institutional image by addressing and combating discrimination based on gender and sexual preference."

GAS was denied recognition as a student organization by the VCU Board of Visitors on October 17, 1974 on the grounds that the "existence of GAS as a recognized campus organization would tend to attract other homosexuals to the University." In October 1976, a civil case was brought to the U.S. District Court of Appeals Fourth District Circuit Court against VCU to allow for full funding and space allocations. The Federal Appeals Court ruled in favor of the student organization effectively changed existing law in ten southern states.

By the 1980s, the Gay Alliance of Students was known as the VCU Gay Student Alliance. As of 2010, there were two gay student organizations at VCU-the Sexual Minority Student Alliance and Queer Action.


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Walter Foery.

A Guide to the VCU Gay Alliance of Students Collection, 1974-1976
A Collection in Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, M 357
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the VCU James Branch Cabell Library Repository

Special Collections and Archives 901 Park Avenue
Richmond Virginia 23284 USA US
(804) 828-1108