Young students today face new forms of stress unknown to previous American generations. Whether resulting from the ceaseless nature of the new electronic age or pressures from households where adults must navigate the gig economy, these stressors affect students’ ability to learn. That’s why educators are looking at new ways to help children find presence of mind at school.
When most people think of research, they think of scientists in white lab coats, determinedly peering into microscopes and stirring beakers full of brightly colored liquid. Thanks to an $815,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UVA students and scholars are now enjoying increased opportunities for study in the arts.
While it takes great intellectual ability and academic achievement to get into UVA, students are not alone once they arrive. Support—both financial and social—helps students meet challenges and introduces them to experiences they will never forget.
A few select gifts and commitments from spring 2018.
The vision is straightforward and powerful: Take the most talented young people wherever they can be found and educate them for leadership in society. The new Clark Scholars Program will help the School of Engineering and Applied Science do exactly that.
Upon discovering a cemetery of enslaved people on their historic Albemarle County farm, John Macfarlane (Darden ’79) and his wife, Dudley, knew they had a unique opportunity to reveal a story long hidden from view. After painstakingly restoring the overgrown burial place, the Macfarlanes vowed to gain a better understanding of the farm’s full history in the context of the souls laid to rest on a hillside marked by 153 gravestones.
Carol Angle, M.D., has always made it her mission to solve difficult problems. She spent 45 years at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a pediatrician, nephrologist, and toxicologist. Over the course of her distinguished career, Angle became known as one of the nation’s leading experts on lead poisoning.
For many young attorneys, public service is a luxury they simply can’t afford. To pay off their student loans, graduates feel compelled to accept higher-paying positions in the private sector. The result: Some never realize their true aspirations, and the pool of talented, idealistic lawyers available to our public institutions is diminished.
Marine biologists. Attorneys. Bakery owners. People who enter the nursing profession often do so in roundabout ways, bringing their life experiences with them. UVA’s Clinical Nurse Leader master’s program provides people from all walks of life who want to join the nursing profession the ability to do so.
Scholarships have a long history at UVA. Early examples can be traced back to 1848, when a residential college for scholarship students, now known as Brown College, was built on Monroe Hill. Students there were given grants by the Commonwealth of Virginia to attend the University.
Graduate students don’t simply provide extra brainpower for research. They set in motion a cycle that lifts the entire research and educational enterprise. They help realize their advisors’ research agendas by conducting experiments, creating simulations, and publishing papers.
Like moths to a lightbulb, students are drawn to the video cameras, teleprompter, and eight high-end editing stations in the new Wilson Hall Media Studio.
The emerging centrality of the immune system in human health is something Virginia businessman and philanthropist Beirne Carter (McIntire ’48) only could’ve imagined in his lifetime.
Larry Sabato (Col ’74) knows how to kick off a campaign. In 2005, he honored a commitment to his mentor, the late Edgar Shannon, who was president of the University when Sabato was an undergraduate. Fulfilling his pledge “to give back to UVA,” he announced a $1 million campaign gift to the Center for Politics.
A few select gifts and commitments from spring 2017.
The Mystic Order of Eli Banana has never taken itself too seriously. Founded in 1878 with a focus on merriment rather than secrecy, the Eli Bananas don colorful robes and stage marches around Grounds singing irreverent songs and loudly banging on a big bass drum.
When UVA Professor of Biology George Bloom moved his laboratory to Virginia in 2000, he saw it as an opportunity to change the direction of his research. Previously, Bloom had concentrated on fundamental issues in cell biology. He refocused his laboratory to investigate the causes of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases that ravage the lives of millions.
Brandi Durkac (Col ’00) had often heard family stories of a relative who was a renowned scholar of Spanish and Portuguese history. That relative, Charles Julian Bishko (1904-2002), was an admired professor of history who taught at UVA for 39 years.
Jill Ferguson (Engr ’17) is exactly the kind of high-potential undergraduate that Chip (Engr ’92) and Belinda Blankenship had in mind when they created a scholarship for promising engineering students.
Imagine that you’re a bright young UVA student ready to begin your third year. Brimming with confidence, eager to start that special class or a long-hoped-for internship, you’re confident that all your hard work and sacrifice have paid off. You feel that you’re on track for success.
Thanks to a lead gift from Dathel and John Georges of New Orleans, the second floor of UVA’s Clemons Library will be transformed into a center with academic, professional, and personal advising resources available in one location.
Mohan Nadkarni, M.D., known to his friends as “Mo,” has two passions when it comes to practicing medicine: serving the underserved and teaching. As chief of general internal medicine at UVA and the Harry T. Peters Jr. Professor of Internal Medicine, Nadkarni has developed a pair of courses for first- and second-year medical students.
Robert Thomson (Engr ’50) attributed his success as a paper company executive to the training he received as a chemical engineering major at UVA.
Today he’s a first baseman for the Washington Nationals, selected as a first-round draft pick in 2005. At UVA he was an All-American third baseman. Now, with his support through the ziMS Foundation to UVA’s Department of Neurology, Ryan Zimmerman is knocking multiple sclerosis out of the park.
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.
It takes an abundance of forethought and an eye toward future generations to rebuild a historic masterpiece. As its bicentennial year approaches, the University of Virginia is in the midst of one of its most ambitious undertakings, made possible by a long-term fund-raising effort described by Robert D. Sweeney, senior vice president for University advancement, as a “true private-public partnership.”
Clear, compelling writing can be a powerful factor in leadership success. Professor John D. Forbes taught generations of Darden School of Business students how to write with style and clarity in his course “Analysis and Communication.” For years, Darden alumni consistently cited the course as the one in which they learned and retained the most.
In 1971, a farmer plowing a Tidewater Virginia field unearthed a remarkable assemblage of stones. The discovery touched off the first of many excavations that have opened a window into bygone worlds.
If anyone embodies UVA’s medical education mission, it’s retired professor of obstetrics and gynecology Peyton T. Taylor Jr., M.D. A new scholarship fund established in his honor allows residents and fellows in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to conduct faculty-mentored research during their training at UVA—and honors his legacy of compassionate care.
One of the most important American artists of the 20th century, Joseph Cornell (1903-72), was a pioneer and celebrated exponent of assemblage and collage art. The mysterious little worlds Cornell created through his shadow boxes have influenced everyone from Andy Warhol to contemporary installation artists.
Quite simply, Germany’s Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is one of the most productive and innovative organizations devoted to fundamental research in the world. Eighty-three Max Planck Institutes conduct basic research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences and the humanities, focusing on the most difficult scientific and societal challenges.
A U.S. president’s first year in office can be tough. For President Kennedy, it was the invasion of the Bay of Pigs; for President Clinton, it was a Black Hawk down in Mogadishu. When President Reagan was shot in the chest, the White House scrambled frantically to determine who was in charge. The president’s first year is often heated and intense—and a crucible for any new presidential administration.
This summer, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences $3.47 million to launch a major humanities initiative dedicated to the study of the Global South. The College will match the grant, making the initial five-year investment to launch the initiative about $7 million.
In his own way, through the stories he often told friends and members of the University community—and through his paperweight collection—Randolph Pillow kept the University with him always, throughout his life. His gifts will continue as important parts of UVA’s history.
Wellford Tabor (Col ’90) came to the University of Virginia from Memphis, Tennessee, in 1986. “Going to UVA was a big adventure,” Tabor said. “It was a long way from home.”
As a successful entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley technology industry, Lane Bess is a hard-charging risk-taker who makes things happen. But when doctors diagnosed him in 2011 with large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia—a rare and incurable blood cancer—he felt a sense of helplessness with regard to his future.
A new center for Civil War history will build on UVA’s distinction as a widely recognized leader in the research and teaching of 19th-century American history, aiming to serve as the preeminent academic center for scholars, archivists and students studying that era.
Picture 5,000 high school students. That’s about how many Susan Barnes has taught in her 25-year career. Now, imagine that you’re Barnes—and you’re looking for a new way to engage the next 30 students who are about to walk into your humanities class.
LBJ was president. The Vietnam War was raging. Miniskirts were everywhere, and “The Ballad of the Green Berets” was blaring from radios. Despite all that’s changed since 1966, when Joel Gardner arrived at UVA, a few things remain the same.
He built new facilities, expanded enrollment, energized the faculty with new additions, strengthened engineering students’ business acumen and dramatically increased research revenue.
After graduating in 2014, Margaret Bickley joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s post-surgical unit as a registered nurse.
For Maria Gutierrez Norin, living on the Lawn in her fourth year was no small part of her UVA experience. In fact, Norin (Col ’90) describes her time spent in 38 East Lawn as the “culmination of the four years that made me who I am.”
It's a big world out there and big data is part of it. The gift creating the Hobby Postdoctoral and Predoctoral Fellows in Computational Science opens up a whole world of possibilities.
As one of six children, Anatevka “Tevy” Ribeiro (Col ’14) knew she would have to pay for college herself.
Sophie Carpenter Speidel (Curry ’85) met her husband, Rusty Speidel (Col ’82), on the Lawn in May 1983 on the last day of classes. Do you also have a favorite Lawn memory to share? Please visit and tell us your stories from the Academical Village.
A Charlottesville native and the daughter of a University of Virginia civil engineering professor, Sonja Hoel Perkins (McIntire ’88) has UVA and its founder running through her veins. She confesses aspiring to be “a female version of Thomas Jefferson—who was into everything” and even incorporated Jeffersonian ideas into the remodeling of her San Francisco-area home.
Dr. Charles H. Henderson III (BS ’61, Med ’65, ’72) is the kind of person who listens and learns. As the Medical School Foundation’s representative to the University’s Council of Foundations, he heard Locke Ogens, then representing the College Foundation, speak passionately about the pressing need to plan for the generational turnover of faculty as members of the baby boom reach retirement age.
The Richmond chapter of the Walter Ridley Scholarship Program raised $1 million for the Clarence Cain Endowed Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship given to an outstanding African-American high school student from the Richmond area. Having achieved this milestone, the fund awarded a full-tuition scholarship for the first time last spring.
In fall 1984 a story of quiet generosity unfolded that could have happened only at UVA.
Two-time University of Virginia women’s volleyball most valuable player Amy Mitchell Griffin (Col ’98), a major supporter of UVA athletics, was honored on National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 2 at John Paul Jones Arena.
Former Rector Joshua P. Darden Jr., who died on Jan. 22, 2014, following a long illness, is remembered by friends and colleagues as “one of the University’s all-time great leaders,” and one who gave generously and selflessly to his alma mater. Darden was 77.
UVA was a very different place in September 2006 when then President John T. Casteen III announced the public launch of the $3 billion Campaign for the University of Virginia. Many would argue that it was the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of public education.
Faculty Forward, a $130 million fundraising initiative to help fund near-term faculty recruitment efforts while also building the endowment to sustain the long-term excellence of the academic core in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
John Griffin (McIntire ’85) likes to set the bar as high as possible. With his $4 million challenge gift to the University of Virginia in February to support undergraduate students with exceptional academic promise and significant financial need, he challenged other donors to match his gift on a one-to-one basis. The aim was clear: to raise a total of $8 million together for the University’s need-based student financial aid program.
The Rotunda renovation enters the next major phase of work in May. During this two-year phase, the Rotunda will be closed to the public.
It all began at the Rotunda in 1985. Introduced at a party, students Peter Page (Col ’88) and Valerie Newton (Col ’88) met on the Rotunda steps for their first date.
Pay it forward. That’s an adage serving Reginald G. Benbow Jr. well.
After building Jet engines and working for an engineering firm specializing in turbine engines, David Sheffler (Engr ’87) signed on as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.