Imagine leaving the relative familiarity of high school for a place like UVA, where options are seemingly endless and important life choices abound. For many undergraduate students, this transition can feel overwhelming.
Now, thanks to a generous gift from a UVA Parents Fund Committee family, students are enjoying expanded opportunities for academic and professional development.
Dathel and John Georges of New Orleans, LA, made a lead gift for the new, comprehensive student advising center located on the second floor of UVA’s Clemons Library. Serving as a turnkey resource for students seeking professional and personal guidance, the Dathel and John Georges Student Center hosts everything from one-on-one consultations to workshops with partners from around the University. The center provides services such as career counseling and internship search assistance, consultation about study-abroad experiences, suggestions for undergraduate research pursuits, and wellness counseling. It also offers a full online platform for those who prefer to connect digitally.
The Georges’ gift came as the most recent in a long line of philanthropic acts. Over the years, the couple has supported a long list of causes close to their heart, including preservation, the arts, and education.
Dathel and John have a personal stake in this project, however. As parents of one UVA graduate, Zana (Col ’15), and a rising second-year, Nike (Col ’19), they’re committed to cultivating an environment in which students have opportunities to explore their personal and professional interests.
“It’s important to provide advising throughout a student’s college career,” Dathel said. “They need a place where they can figure things out, ask questions, decide their major, and get a feel for their future.”
John added, “It can be quite an experience for students to navigate a school as big as UVA. There are always good career choices to be made at the University, but this center will help students make the best decisions possible.”
The Dathel and John Georges Student Center opened in the fall of 2017.