What Dreams Are Made Of - Giving to UVA

Our bicentennial scholars will shine.

One way UVA is marking its 200th birthday is through the Bicentennial Scholars Fund, established by the Board of Visitors in December 2016. The fund, which provided $300 million through matching gifts for scholarships, will serve as a sustainable, long-term source of financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students.

A recent gift of $500,000 from Carolyn Callahan and Michael Caldwell, a Curry School professor and a retired Curry professor, respectively, qualified for a match of $250,000, for a total of $750,000. The gift will fund graduate students focused on gifted education in the Curry School of Education.

“I had scholarships both as an undergraduate and graduate student,” Callahan said. “Also, Mike was supported in graduate school by graduate fellowships. So we both benefited from scholarship support.”

President Sullivan and her husband, law professor Douglas Laycock, made the first gift to the new Bicentennial Scholars Fund. Professor Larry J. Sabato, founder and director of the UVA Center for Politics, also created the Leonard and Jerry Sandridge Bicentennial Scholarship in honor of the Sandridges’ longtime dedication to the University.

Even the most distant possibilities may become real.

When John Griffin (McIntire ’85) issued a $4 million challenge grant in 2014 to launch the Blue Ridge Scholars program, he wanted to make a UVA education a reality for all students with high potential and impressive qualifications, despite their economic circumstances. The first class of Blue Ridge Scholars are now fourth-years in the final stretch of a student experience that some never believed possible. They graduate this May.

Griffin’s investment and the support of alumni and friends have helped make the dream of a UVA education come true for students who might otherwise face daunting financial barriers. Since the Blue Ridge Scholars program begun in 2014, 234 UVA students have received a Blue Ridge Scholarship.

In April 2018, the Board of Visitors allocated funding to support an additional 50 Blue Ridge Scholarships for the class entering fall 2018.

Casey Balamut (Curry ’18),

one of five children, is paying for college on her own. A Blue Ridge Scholarship, along with a Gordon C. Burris Endowed Scholarship from the UVA Parents Fund Committee, have helped her with this responsibility. After graduation in May, she will pursue a career in medicine. “Medicine is the ultimate outlet to do what I love,” said Balamut, who decided to become a physician’s assistant after working as a Madison House program director of the UVA Children’s Hospital Acute Care Pediatrics program.


Who says you can’t have it all?

Jefferson Scholars are proving almost anything is possible. In 2016-17, two Jefferson Scholars were awarded Rhodes Scholarships and three received Marshall Scholarships. That’s an excellent starting point for these graduates as they begin new chapters in their lives. Jefferson Scholarships—merit-based awards that provide financial support, enrichment programs, and a welcoming community—give undergraduate leaders a solid foundation to achieve their highest goals.

Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most prestigious international fellowship awards in the world. The Oxford education they provide recipients is a life-changing opportunity.


Aryn Frazier

Thomas J. and Hillary D. Baltimore
Jefferson Scholar

Lauren Jackson

R.E. Lee Wilson
Jefferson Scholar



Marshall Scholarships were created by an Act of Parliament in 1953. Distinguished recipients serve as student ambassadors, representing international cooperation in the spirit of the Marshall Plan.

Sarah Koch

Frank and Ann Hereford
Jefferson Scholar

Abraham Axler

William H.P. Young
Jefferson Scholar

William Henagan

Ernest H. and Jeanette P. Ern
Jefferson Scholar