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Dean Jim Aylor speaks on the engineering school’s #1 priority of retaining and supporting UVA faculty.

By any standard, endowed professorships have been the most significant factor in the University’s steady rise in stature. An endowed chair, with its prestige and financial rewards, is one of the most coveted honors a faculty member can receive. More than any other honor, it attests to a scholar’s standing among peers, both within the University and throughout the academic world. With endowed chairs, the University effectively competes with other universities for outstanding faculty, and rewards professors who make learning a joy for their students.

Giving Opportunities


Endowed deanships enable the University to attract and recognize distinguished faculty who contribute to the academic rigor of the institution and help shape its future. Minimum level of $5 million.


Endowed professorships provide permanent sources of support for faculty excellence and recognize scholars’ standing throughout the academic world. Minimum level of $2 million.

Faculty Funds for Excellence

These funds allow schools to nurture faculty research and create new courses. Minimum level of $1 million.

Named Research Funds

These funds support faculty engaged in humanities scholarship or the research needed for new discoveries in science, medicine, or engineering. Minimum level of $500,000.

Endowed Lectureships

These funds allow the University to bring noted speakers to the Grounds, enriching academic discourse and bringing new perspectives to students, faculty, and the larger community. Minimum level of $100,000.

Legacy of Distinction Fund

In addition to endowed funds, expendable funds are needed for projects requiring immediate financial support. Facing the sizable number of faculty retirements forecast over the next several years, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences created the Legacy of Distinction Fund. With a goal of $5 million, the fund will provide a “bridge” to hire ten to twelve new faculty now, in anticipation of the retirement of eminent faculty in high-priority fields.

Learn more:

Endowed Professorships: Giving Opportunities

Endowed Professorships: Embracing a Distinguished Tradition

David Kovacs: Hugh H. Obear Twenty-First Century Distinguished Professor of Classics