From the time of Plato’s “groves of academe,” gardens have been linked to the contemplative and scholarly life. Although Jefferson left no formal record of his intentions for the pavilion gardens, it’s likely that he’d favor a combination of pleasure and utility with a place for thought and study.

As a UVA student—no doubt with Jefferson in mind—William Anderson (Col ‘71) would walk the Grounds, lost in contemplation. He never tired of spending time in the gardens, admiring their changing beauty. The impact of the gardens on his student experience stayed with Anderson throughout his life—so much so that he and his partner Mark Andersen decided to endow the gardens in the Academical Village with a gift through his estate.

Landscapes and gardens are the means by which we bring the natural environment into our daily lives.”

Honoring His Parents

When his mother passed away last year, he decided to make a gift in honor of his parents. “They made it possible for me to attend UVA,” he said. “Given their interest in gardening and nature, I felt that endowing the gardens was the best way to honor them.” The John C. and Carita A. Anderson Jeffersonian Grounds Endowment will provide continuing support for the conservation and maintenance of UVA’s historic gardens and buildings.

“Landscapes and gardens are the means by which we bring the natural environment into our daily lives,” he continued. “As someone who was raised to appreciate the beauty and importance of the environment, I have always framed my vision of the world in the context of nature. It is essential that we keep that connection. I believe that’s what Jefferson had in mind with his design of the University.

“I appreciate gardens that serve as an extension of the structures they adjoin,” he said. “Like the Lawn, these gardens are an integral part of the historic Grounds. The buildings and their natural setting are essential to what makes UVA so beautiful.”

The Pavilion Gardens are open to the public 365 days a year from dawn to dusk. The gardens are featured each year in April as part of the Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week. To learn more please visit http://virginia.edu/jgi/garden-week.