Jefferson Scholars Foundation

The mission of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is to attract the most promising student leaders to the University. Surpassing its $100 million goal in 2011, the Jefferson Scholars Campaign launched in 2005 and raised nearly $125 million for UVA’s premier scholarship and fellowship program. Donors gave $77 million in undergraduate scholarship and programmatic support, $32 million in graduate fellowship support, $19.5 million in professorship support and $24 million in future support. Over the course of the campaign, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation substantially increased the number of scholarships and fellowships it awards and the number of regions in which the awards are offered (from 41 to 57); initiated a professorship program; and approximately doubled its alumni volunteer interviewer base.


Jefferson Scholarships and Fellowships

Campaign gifts created 42 new Jefferson Scholarships and 44 Jefferson Fellowships — many of them endowed. The graduate fellowships include awards at the Darden School of Business, the School of Law, the Graduate Schools of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The undergraduate scholars enjoy coverage of their entire cost of attendance for four years as well as an extensive enrichment program and community. Thanks to new funding, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation has been able to expand the Jefferson Scholars nomination process to more than 4,000 secondary schools in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorships

Paul T. Jones (Col ’76) and David C. Walentas (Engr ’61, Darden ’64) each committed $5 million to create two Jefferson Scholars Foundation-endowed professorships. These awards will help attract world-class faculty, thereby placing the University at the forefront of higher education. With three and a half professorships funded during the campaign, the Foundation’s ultimate goal is to raise funds for six $5 million professorships.

Gifts at Work

Nurturing Future Leaders

Joseph Riley (Col ’13), the Betty and Jack Blackburn Scholar, embodies the purpose of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation: to attract the most promising leaders, scholars and citizens to the University. Riley recently joined 31 other college students from across the country in becoming a member of the American Rhodes Scholars class of 2013 — the sixth Jefferson Scholar to earn a spot as a Rhodes Scholar. A double major in Mandarin Chinese and the politics honors program in the College of Arts & Sciences, Riley has a long list of accomplishments at UVA In addition to being a Jefferson Scholar, he is a Truman Scholar, an Echols Scholar and a Coca-Cola National Scholar. He was also recently named one of the top 10 Army ROTC cadets in the nation. “I am so grateful for everything that the Jefferson Scholars Foundation has done to prepare me for this next step in my academic career,” Riley said. “JSF has helped me make the contacts and gain the experience I needed to be competitive for the Rhodes Scholarship.” As a Rhodes Scholar, Riley plans to complete his master’s and doctoral degrees in international relations at Oxford University and pursue a career as an infantry officer.