Results of Final Exercises Student Survey

April 30th, 2014

Dear University Community:

I recently invited all of our undergraduate, graduate, and professional students — except those who are graduating this spring — to respond to a survey to help us determine how we will configure the University’s Final Exercises for 2015 and beyond. The next phase of the Rotunda restoration and issues related to safety with the increasing number of people attending Final Exercises compelled us to consider alternative arrangements for Finals Weekend beginning next year. A Graduation Advisory Committee produced three options: 1) continue to hold graduation on the Lawn but sharply limit the number of guests who can attend; 2) hold two Final Exercises ceremonies on the Lawn, with the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences on one day of the weekend and all other schools on the other day; or, 3) arrange for students to walk the Lawn en route to Scott Stadium but hold the actual ceremony in Scott Stadium. In the survey, students were asked to rank these three options in order of preference.

Results showed that the overwhelming preference is to hold two ceremonies on the Lawn: 51% of students ranked this option as their first choice, while 29.9% and 19.2% gave top ranking to the single ceremony with limited-ticket option and the Scott Stadium option, respectively. Both undergraduate and graduate/professional students preferred the two-ceremony option, and this result was consistent across class years, schools, and even gender. Full survey results are available here.

The two-ceremony arrangement will require greater commitments from many U.Va. staff members who provide leadership and support for Final Exercises, including those who work in facilities management, police, dining services, parking and transportation, and other areas. We believe the improvements to safety and the greater number of guest tickets that will be available for our students under this arrangement make the commitment worthwhile. I will work closely with the provost and deans to develop the schedule for Finals Weekend 2015 and beyond, including the determination of whether the College will hold its Finals ceremony on Saturday or Sunday.

This new arrangement will allow students to preserve one of the most cherished and iconic experiences in higher education — Final Exercises on Thomas Jefferson’s historic Lawn. I am grateful for your commitment to this important event in the life of the University.

Very truly yours,

Teresa A. Sullivan

Student Ice Cream Social Rescheduled

April 29th, 2014

Due to weather conditions, the Student Ice Cream Social has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 1st at 1:30 pm.

From the Heart

April 17th, 2014

Featuring our very own, Tabitha Enoch, Assistant Dean & Director of Orientation & New Student Programs. Faculty and staff talk about going the extra mile.

The Jeffrey L. Reider & Charles F. Otis Endowed Scholarship

March 25th, 2014

The Reider-Otis Scholarship will provide a one-time scholarship of $5,000 to a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or straight student who has demonstrated a willingness to advance the rights and acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Available for undergraduate or graduate students who attend the University of Virginia on a full-time basis, this scholarship will also consider activity in the musical arts. In the case of a tie, two scholarships will be awarded at $2,500 each.

This application is an online form and will not be accepted in hard copy. In addition to this form, all applicants must have a non-relative submit a letter of recommendation online*. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure the application is complete, including the letter of recommendation, by March 31, 2014. If you have questions, please contact Ori Dekel, chair of the Reider-Otis Scholarship, at The winner of the scholarship will be required to write a 500-word thank you letter to the donors.

* Please note that the director of the LGBTQ Center is unable to furnish recommendation letters for this scholarship.

La Gala

March 5th, 2014

La Gala is a reception that brings together the many members and supporters of the Hispanic/Latino community at the University of Virginia.  Please join us for this wonderful event as we celebrate the accomplishments and experiences of our diverse network of alumni, current and future students, as well as faculty members.

La Gala
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Lunch and Celebration

For more information go here.

The Gus Blagden Room Selection Committee

February 12th, 2014

The Committee to select an individual to live in the Augustus Silliman “Gus” Blagden, III, Room 15 West Lawn, is soliciting nominations from the University community.  The Committee is looking for an undergraduate student in their fourth year of study at the University.  The Scott family, who endowed the room in 1968, characterized the desired recipient as someone who:

  • Selflessly commits their time to serving the University community;
  • Maintains good moral character;
  • Conducts themselves according to a high standard;
  • Displays genuine concern and care for fellow students;
  • May be distinguished by academic merit (but need not be);
  • May be in a recognized position of leadership (but need not be); and
  • Carries these fine qualities with the utmost humility.

Gus was a student at the University in the early 1960’s.  During these years, he was beloved and admired throughout the University community.  Gene Corrigan, past athletic director at Virginia, knew Gus very well.  He wrote that “Gus was a very average student and a mediocre athlete, at best, but was so well respected by his teammates that they chose him to be co-captain of the 1963 Lacrosse Team.  He was, above all, a kind, generous and gentle person.”  Gus died only a few years after graduation, but he had so affected the people with whom he had contact that this room was endowed and dedicated to his honor.

Nominations for the Gus Blagden room should include a letter describing the characteristics and qualities of the nominee that make them worthy of this high honor.  All members of the University community are invited to make nominations.  Please include any personal stories that shed light on the character of the individual.  Letters of nomination must be at least 250 words and should not exceed 500 words.  Letters must be sent electronically as a Word attachment and e-mailed to no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.  Nominations must meet the above criteria or they will not be  accepted. These letters carry an especially heavy weight as they will be the starting point of consideration for all nominees.

Margaret Jala,
on behalf of the Gus Blagden Selection Committee

Apply to Live on the Lawn (2014 – 2015)

November 18th, 2013

Applications are now available to live on the Lawn. Learn more here.


May 10th, 2013

The University of Virginia respects and encourages free expressive activity by its students, faculty, and staff. At the same time, consistent with its educational mission, the University has established reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on such activities on University Grounds to assure that such activities are undertaken in ways that avoid disruption of University operations, and are consistent with its educational, employment, and safety responsibilities to its students, faculty, and staff.

Finals Weekend always creates special challenges for the University because of the great number of activities occurring during that period across University Grounds, and the large number of people attending them. Because of this the University has created the following policy that is specific to Finals Weekend. During Finals Weekend, this policy supersedes all other policies regarding use of University Grounds and facilities to the extent such policies may be inconsistent with this one.

  • Attendance at Finals Weekend events and activities is by invitation only unless otherwise noted. Those in attendance without having been invited or otherwise having been authorized to attend may be asked to leave if, in the judgment of the University, their presence creates disruption, impedes movement of invited guests from place to place, or otherwise creates unacceptable conditions for participants or invited visitors.
  • Because of the large crowds and multiple venues that are typical of Finals Weekend, activities that otherwise may be consistent with University policy may be impermissible during that period.
  • Items currently approved and authorized to be carried in the Academic Procession are placards that are not attached to sticks, and balloons (including inflated surgical gloves), as long as those placards and balloons are not so large or unwieldy as to obstruct or impede the procession and do not otherwise pose a safety risk.
  • Items held or carried must not obscure the view of participants or invited visitors or interfere with the ceremonies.
  • Activities of participants or invited visitors must not interfere with Finals Weekend events and activities.
  • No non-University commercial solicitation will be allowed on University Grounds during Finals Weekend.
  • Protests, demonstrations, and other expressive activities may take place during Finals Weekend within the following area of University Grounds : in the area bounded by Alderman Library, Monroe Hall, Peabody Hall, Special Collections Library, and McCormick Road (subject to space needed for emergency medical services). If Valedictory Exercises or Final Exercises are moved to the John Paul Jones Arena, the designated area is the grassy area outside the north entrance of University Hall.
  • Even within this designated area, protests, demonstrations and other expressive activities, including distribution of leaflets or other written materials, may not:
    • Block or impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic along streets and sidewalks;
    • Involve placement of tents or other temporary structures;
    • Interfere with or impede Finals Weekend events and activities;
    • Use sound amplification devices; or
    • Violate applicable law or University rules, regulations, or procedures.
  • Persons in violation of this policy either will be instructed to bring their activities into compliance with the requirements set forth above, or asked to leave. If such persons do not comply with the University’s request, they may be arrested and/or charged with violating the University’s Standards of Conduct, if applicable.

For more information, go to the Final Exercises Website.

Statement of University Dean of Students Allen Groves on the May 1, 2013 Vandalizing of Beta Bridge

May 2nd, 2013

On Wednesday morning, May 1, many of us awoke to find two slurs painted on Beta Bridge, a public space that has served for so many years as a place to promote this special, inclusive community.  These slurs, targeting our African-American and LGBTQ students, are repugnant to our shared values at the University.  We should rightly condemn them.

When I was first made aware of the slurs yesterday morning, I immediately directed my staff in Student Activities to do two things: repaint the bridge so that the slurs would have a very short time within which they were visible, and begin an investigation in an attempt to determine who might be responsible for painting them.  Although we must remain mindful that some ugly or repugnant speech may be constitutionally protected and thus outside our ability to sanction, that does not preclude us from making a firm statement of condemnation in response.

We should also be mindful of several things regarding the timing and possible motivations of the person or persons who did this.  We do not know if they were students, or if it was an individual acting alone or in concert with a few others.  Given the timing of the act, coming as students face the pressure of final examinations, I suspect that it was designed to cause distress and anxiety in certain student communities at a critical juncture.  I also suspect that it was intended to drive a wedge between members of our community, given the attempt to attribute it to a fraternal organization on Grounds.  We must maintain a clear perspective and not let the acts of one or a few cowards painting two slurs in the cover of darkness create anxiety, mistrust or discord in what each of us knows is a welcoming, supportive and vibrantly diverse University community of 21,000 students and many thousands of faculty, staff and Charlottesville neighbors.  Our message needs to remain that excellence is the sole standard for membership in the University community, and a diverse population that reflects the world in which our students will work and live after college is the best environment within which to learn while here.

Please know that the University’s commitment to these shared values remains unshaken and firm.

Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students

2013-14 Internships in Student Affairs

March 14th, 2013
  • Applications for the following three internships in Multicultural Student Services are now available:
    • American Indian Student Affairs
    • Middle Eastern Student Affairs
    • Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs
  • The goal of the Office of the Dean of Students is to promote the intellectual, cultural, personal, and social development of students.
  • Interns have been able to craft internship projects relevant to their personal curiosity and experience.  In addition, they get to meet community members from across Grounds and gain valuable professional experience while their work makes an impact within each respective community and our University.
  • Please visit the website to become familiar with the communities.  Write to Program Coordinator Julie Roa at to request an application.
  • All applications are due by March 25th