A NEW BOARD FOR A
(Left to Right) Back Row: Anna Lee Delashmutt Grinder, Joel B. Gardner, R. Foster Duncan (Co-chair), Benjamin K. Phipps Jr., Herbert E. Fitzgerald III, Calvert Saunders Moore; Front Row: Whitney Andrews Murphy, Eliza Vellines Phillips, Shaun Saer Duncan (Co-chair), Maria Gutierrez Norin, Merry Walker Dougherty; Not pictured: Charlie King II, Paul S. Weinschenk, Philip B. Weymouth III (Vice-chair)
O ctober 6, 1817, was an extraordinary day in the life of UVA. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe attended a ceremony on a ridge overlooking the town of Charlottesville. They were there to lay the cornerstone of Pavilion VII—the first “stake in the ground” for what would become the University of Virginia.
That was also the day construction began on the Academical Village, the physical manifestation of Jefferson’s original conception of a new model for higher learning, one shaped by the belief that only educated citizen-leaders would be capable of sustaining freedom in a new republic. From this foundational act, we can trace the course of the University from its humble beginnings as Central College, to a regional institution, to one of the great national and global universities of the 21st century.
As we seek to preserve the past, we must also look to the future. We have called upon a group of dedicated volunteers to help us move the Jeffersonian Grounds Initiative forward.
This October 6, the University is launching a bicentennial commemoration that will continue through the anniversary of the University’s charter on January 25, 2019. As we begin to chronicle and celebrate 200 years of achievements, the Jeffersonian Grounds Initiative will be a big part of the story. In fact, we are already making history.
Thanks to the loyal support of alumni, parents, and friends, the Rotunda is once again open to students and visitors from around the world. This symbol of the University has been returned to the center of student life, with new classrooms, expansive study space, and extended hours for student use. We are now turning our attention to restoring and preserving the Lawn and its associated student rooms, gardens, and pavilions.
As we seek to preserve the past, we must also look to the future. We have called upon a group of dedicated volunteers to help us move the Jeffersonian Grounds Initiative forward. The newly formed JGI Board is an integral part of the University’s bicentennial commemoration, with a mission to promote signature JGI projects. Board members advocate for historic preservation at UVA, with special emphasis on the Academical Village. As UVA enters its third century, the board aims to increase philanthropic and volunteer support for the Jeffersonian Grounds Initiative, as well as advising JGI staff on development, engagement, and stewardship opportunities.
We’ll get to know more about individual members of the JGI Board in future issues. For now, we welcome their talent and energy as we look toward the University’s bicentennial.