Sally Smith and Richard Romm RA Enrichment Fund

Sally Smith and Richard Romm Resident Assistant Enrichment Fund

University Housing is proud to announce the creation of the Sally Smith and Richard Romm Resident Assistant RA Enrichment Fund Program. The contributions made to University Housing by Sally Smith and Dick Romm, especially in regards to residence life and RA coordination, were both abundant and immensely valuable to the future of this institution, which is why we are so pleased to present them with this honor.

The University of Oregon’s 140+ resident assistants serve a unique leadership role on campus and are pivotal to the success of residential communities. It is essential that these campus leaders are provided with networking, leadership, and experiential opportunities to help elevate the residential communities, university experience and their career development.

The Sally Smith and Richard Romm RA Enrichment Fund provides invaluable support for resident assistants to pursue experiential learning opportunities, sharing about their leadership experiences, creating innovations to enhance the residential communities and hearing about and networking with former RAs.

Apply for the Enrichment Fund

Enrichment Experiences

Resident assistants will be provided with the opportunity to apply for funds to cover the cost of related to attending or presenting at specialized workshops, trainings, or conferences; internship support; other opportunities supporting leadership development and career readiness; or travel and living expenses for summer study abroad. Each award recipient will present a session about their experience including lessons learned and recommendations for future projects. 

(14–50 awards of $500–$5,000 each)


Applications will consist of:

  • a statement of purpose explaining the applicant’s leadership, academic, or professional goals
  • the projects or experiences the student plans to use the enrichment funds for

UO students around a table

Professional Development Speaker

A former RA who is a current professional will be asked to speak at an RA professional development workshop about their career, the connection to being an RA, leadership and mentoring. There will be a networking lunch or dinner with the speaker with a limited number of RAs. $7,000

Provided through a generous gift from Michael Henningsen, UO resident assistant from 1981–83,
in honor of mentors Dick Romm and Sally Smith


Dick Romm began in University Housing in 1965 as a supervisor for the men’s dorm counselors (what we now call resident assistants). He worked his way up to become the assistant director of housing where he was in charge of RA selection and training programs and led the complex directors (community directors). In his 31 years in University Housing, he was pivotal in the effort to integrate students of color on campus and, as a gay man himself, strove to create a supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students. Romm and his partner still live near campus and enjoy taking walks around campus and volunteering at move-in day each fall.


Dick Romm met the late Sally Smith as her supervisor while she was the director of residence hall programming and was impressed by her passion and dedication. “Truly a Jill of all trades,” according to Romm, she was known for juggling multiple positions in housing and making them all look easy. She was much beloved by her entire RA staff, who would often lovingly tease her about how often she—overcome with her passion for her role— would cry on the job. Regrettably, this honor must be presented posthumously, but we hope that the creation of this fund will ensure that Sally’s legacy is never forgotten.


Michael Henningsen provided this fund in recognition of the incredible work that RAs provide on campus, and the numerous skills they gain from the experience—skills that can contribute to a lifetime of leadership opportunities across many career fields. ”In honor of my mentors, I hope this fund inspires the next generation of leaders.”