Jeffersonian Grounds Initiative

Tripping the Light Fantastic

San Francisco Alumni Host Rotunda Ball Fundraiser

San Francisco-area alumni are planning a Rotunda Ball to benefit the restoration of the Rotunda. On Nov. 22, in the ballroom of the historic City Club of San Francisco, the UVaClub of San Francisco will host the first of what organizers hope will be an annual black-tie event.

An email about the planning for the ball from the UVaClub of San Francisco gave Breanna DiGiammarino (College ’05) the idea for a formal event on the West Coast, where after-work wear tends more toward shorts and flip-flops than suits and dress shoes. She realized there were opportunities for “crowdfunding” to boost the impact of the event.

DiGiammarino works in San Francisco on the education team at, a web-based “international crowdfunding platform,” that can be used to raise funds for not-for-profit or for-profit ventures. She thought the platform could help the UVaClub of San Francisco raise funds from devoted alumni and friends who wanted to contribute to the Rotunda restoration but were unable to attend the ball. To visit the Rotunda Ball site, click here.

“I’m a U.Va. alum, so I was interested in learning about what we might be able to do to raise money for U.Va. using this platform,” DiGiammarino said. She called Jay Diamonon (College ’85), president of the UVaClub of San Francisco, and volunteered for the planning committee.

San Francisco’s Rotunda Ball is modeled after the annual Rotunda Restoration Ball, sponsored by the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, the University Guide Service and other organizations, and held annually at the University of Virginia since 1963.  Last April’s event, the 50th annual Restoration Ball, raised more than $10,000 for the Rotunda restoration, according to Dillon Harding (Architecture ’15), a rising third-year student from Powhatan, Va., and the Jefferson Society chair of the event.

“Going into this year with the 50th anniversary of the Rotunda Restoration Ball, we knew we had to do something extraordinary,” Harding said. “With the number of people who came and the amount of money we raised for the Rotunda, it was an incredible experience—one that sets us up nicely for next year.”

The normally low-key Jefferson Society is best known for its meetings in Jefferson Hall at 7:29 on Friday nights during the school year. Harding hopes to make the Rotunda Restoration Ball the big formal event of the spring at the University, both to give back to the University community and to raise the visibility of the oldest organization at U.Va.

For more information about the UVaClub of San Francisco’s upcoming Rotunda Ball, click here.


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Amy Yancey
Telephone: 434.924.7750
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