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Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village University of Virginia

Map of Lawn

William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund for the Academical Village

The William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund for the Academical Village furthers Jefferson's vision of using the University's buildings and grounds as a means of instruction. Income from the fund supports research, architectural and field internships for students, exhibitions and other public programs, and the publication of preservation materials for general distribution.

In the summer of 2002, the award recipients, working with their faculty advisors, engaged in projects to increase public understanding of some lesser known aspects of Jefferson's "Academical Village." The students and their projects were:

  • Adrienne J. Gauthier, an education graduate student, documented the early history of astronomy at the University, beginning with Jefferson's plans for a star map on the dome of the Rotunda and an observatory, to the creation of the McCormick Observatory in the 1880s. She created a video for use at the historic observatory, in schools, and for other educational purposes.

  • Priya N. Parker
    Natalie N. Shonka
    Priya N. Parker, a rising third-year Arts & Sciences student, produced a history of desegregation and coeducation at U.Va. She focused particularly on landmark cases of students who were denied admission at first. They include Gregory Swanson, who in 1950 became the first African-American student at U.Va. when a court ordered him admitted to the law school, and Virginia Scott and three other women who won a court ruling in 1970 that the University had to consider applications without regard to gender. Parker helped the University Guide Service broaden its historical presentations about minorities and women at the University as well as prepared a digital archive.

  • Nia Rodgers, a graduate student in landscape architecture and urban and environmental planning, explored the physical relationship of the early University to the local African-American community. Her research looked at the many contributions of African-Americans in the construction and design of the University as well as contributions by U.Va to the African-American community over the years. She developed a course for African-American youth to help them interpret U.Va.'s history.

  • Davin Rosborough, a fourth-year history major, created a public exhibit about African-American employees and their contributions to University life in the 1890s. The exhibit, to be on display in Jefferson's Rotunda, includes background about race relations and perceptions in that era.

  • Natalie N. Shonka, a fourth-year American Studies major and Echols Scholar, organized a vast archive of questionnaire-answers reflecting the memories of hundreds of alumni back to the 1920s who have lived on the historic Lawn. She created an online searchable database of these mini-histories that open a valuable window on University life.
Last Modified: 21-Feb-2007 12:01:13 EDT