University of Virginia Giving

Living the Liberal Arts

Rachael Eller (Col ’12)

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Rachael Eller is living the wisdom of her liberal arts training every day. The recent graduate, an art history and English double major, has worked at The Fralin Museum of Art since the start of her fourth year.

One of her first responsibilities was cataloguing items of a 14,000-object collection for the museum database—an absorbing task. She learned quickly and her colleagues soon relied on for her research and editing abilities. “By the end of the project, my boss called me ‘the editor,’” she recalled.

In Eller’s new role as acting assistant registrar, she monitors the condition of incoming and outgoing objects of the museum’s diverse collections. These new responsibilities and her attention to detail led her to discover a new passion in art conservation. She credits the academic rigor and freedom at the heart of the College of Arts & Sciences for much of her success at the museum. She also realizes the University needs support to uphold that standard.

“I was able to study what I love, and that is such a gift,” she said. “I want every student here to have the opportunity to study what they love. I want every department within the College to be equally competitive.”

For her, contributing to the Class of 2012 gift was a way to send a token of thanks in return. “I feel a duty as a graduate to give back,” she said. “Even though my contribution is small, I want to do whatever I can to help maintain and improve the University that is a part of me.”