search question-circle-o log-in megaphone arrow-right2 facebook twitter youtube linkedin2 phone plus-circle2 minus-circle2 play2 menu3 cross

Virginia Cummings Amiss

What was your journey after leaving UVA?

My husband Randy and I grew up in Charlottesville, but we were five years apart. Even though we graduated from the same high school we never knew each other. We met at UVA, got married, and had three babies. Our first two were born while we lived on Copeley Hill in student housing. After my husband’s graduation, we moved to Pennsylvania, then New Jersey, then Houston, Texas. While we were there, we met another couple, and the husband was complaining about being transferred to a little town in Virginia called Charlottesville.  And I said to him, “Oh my gosh! You and Randy are in parallel positions! Why don’t we see if he can move instead of you?” So they transferred us and we got to come to Charlottesville. And that was ‘58. So, we had a house built. And I’m still living there myself.

What is your favorite UVA memory?

I grew up singing in junior choir at First Methodist Church from the time I was six years old. From junior choir on up into the senior choir, I’ve sung with a lot of groups.  During the war, I sang with Magical Singers. The group was created because there were not enough men left in the University Glee Club to hold a concert due to the war, so they recruited girls in Nursing who could sing, and they called us Magical Singers. The dean at the time started the Magical Singers so that he could include women, and we gave concerts at Cabell Hall.

Is there something you learned at UVA that you apply to your life now?

Having a wonderful husband and three children is kind of like your golden life. You want a happily ever after, you know? My husband was a civil engineer who worked for a big corporation and he ultimately passed away; I’m so thankful to be a nurse because I could take care of all his needs up until the last days. We were married 60-something years. That’s your goal in life. If you want to be a caregiver, you want to be the best. And you want to do that for your family.

If you could give a piece of advice to a current female student at UVA, what would it be? Whatever field you want to continue the rest of your life, choose that and then go to the proper school, whether it be nursing, medicine, engineering. If you graduate from UVA, you’ll be accepted anywhere in the world. Your degree from UVA opens the door to anything that you want to do.