Dana Misner, who graduated from Richmond with a business degree in 2003, has published a children’s story, “Hello, WebstUR,” which was released in December.
The storyline follows Richmond’s mascot, WebstUR, past notable campus landmarks and ends with WebstUR cheering on the basketball team in the Robins Center.
Misner, who lives in Connecticut, organized the book as a tour through campus because she wanted to give her children the opportunity to see the place that had influenced her life so positively, she said.
“We live close to my husband’s campus, so we can drive about two hours there and let them walk around campus,” Misner said. “But, Richmond is about an eight-hour drive for us. So, that’s why illustrations were so important – to make sure they reflected the campus accurately, so my kids could get a good picture of it.”
Misner worked closely with illustrator Silvia Faschi to make sure that she captured the beauty of the campus in a way that her 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter could appreciate, she said.
“We don’t often realize how special Richmond is when you’re on the campus,” Misner said. “When you leave, you get an appreciation for the beauty of it. Richmond and everything surrounding it really inspired me. It really stood out to me as something I wanted to share and remember.”
Through her book, Misner has been able to share her inspiration and special memories with other friends who attended the university.
“I’ve gotten notes from friends who have said, ‘The chapel is my favorite page because my husband and I got married there,’ or ‘The lake is my favorite page because I take my kids to see the ducks there,’” Misner said. “It’s nice to remember those types of places.”
Her passion for writing, coupled with her education from the Robins School of Business, aided Misner in publishing her first book.
“Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl,” she said. “I still have journals filled with creative stories I’ve been writing since I was 5 years old.
“And my education was helpful, certainly. There’s a lot of work that goes into the process – negotiations, learning the industry. I think my time in the B-school helped me adapt to other industries.”
Because her children played such a large role in her motivation to create the book, Misner said she had been especially excited to show it to them when it was published.
“The best part of the process was when I received back the final copy, and I was able to share it with my children,” Misner said. “The lake illustration is actually based on my two children, so it was exciting to see my name in the book and to see my children in the book. We read books to our kids all the time, so it’s great when my son says, ‘Mommy, can we read your book tonight?’”
Misner is already thinking of ideas for her next children’s book, which she hopes will honor her grandparents.
“Hello, WebstUR” can be purchased in the University of Richmond bookstore, as well as online. Although the bookstore staff has not sold many copies of the book in the first few weeks, Tim Coates, general book buyer for the store, said he was hopeful that sales would pick up now that the book had been put in a prominent place in the front of the store.
Coates coordinates book signings on campus, and he hopes that Misner will participate in one.
“It’s nice to provide alumni with a place to talk about and promote their work and let people know what Richmond alumni are up to,” Coates said. “We are always happy to support alum who write.”
Contact staff writer Erin Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org