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Guide cites U.Va., Casteen for leadership and character development efforts
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John T. Casteen IIIGuide cites U.Va., Casteen for leadership and character development efforts

By Ida Lee Wootten

U.Va.'s John T. Casteen III is among 50 college and university presidents recognized for outstanding leadership in student character development in The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development, published last month.

Designed for students, parents and educators, The Templeton Guide also named U.Va. to its honor roll of 100 colleges and universities whose programs inspire students to lead ethical and civic-minded lives.

In naming Casteen to its list of leaders, the guide cites his commitment to the intellectual and moral development of students. It also cites his leadership in the $1 billion Campaign for the University and in the Virginia 2020 Initiative, a planning process that will enhance U.Va.'s efforts in science and technology, fine and performing arts, public service and outreach, and international activities.

"In truth, this honor belongs to the entire University, and to the families whose daughters and sons are our students," said Casteen. "Working together with students, helping them develop strong values, demonstrating that personal ethics and public actions grow from the same sources -- this is important work for us all. It holds this place together as a community. We teach one another, and we learn from one another, and many of the most important lessons are lessons in personal and civic responsibility."

The guide profiles 405 exemplary programs in 10 categories, such as those promoting academic honesty, student leadership, spiritual growth and civic education.

The publication recognizes U.Va. in three of those categories: academic honesty, volunteer service and first-year programs. It cites U.Va.'s Honor System and the SERVE and Madison House programs that promote student volunteerism. In the first-year program category, the publication recognizes the Office of African-American Affairs' Peer Advisor Program for its work with entering African-American students. The publication notes other efforts at U.Va. that enhance character development. It cites the University Internship Program, which offers academic credit to students who engage in civic and community service, and notes that U.Va.'s substance-abuse program promotes responsible personal behaviors.

"John Casteen's and U.Va.'s strong commitment to character development are a model for colleges and universities nationwide," said Arthur J. Schwartz, director of character development programs at the John Templeton Foundation. "With the guide, we hope to help prospective college students and their parents who want to know what colleges are doing to promote the core values of honesty, self-control, respect and service to those less fortunate. The guide identifies colleges that encourage students to understand the importance of personal and civic responsibility. President Casteen's and U.Va.'s work in this area are most impressive."

Programs highlighted in the guide were chosen through a process that considered several factors, such as longevity, clarity of vision, institutional resources and impact on students, faculty and the community.

Established in 1987, the John Templeton Foundation supports more than 100 programs with three broad goals: encouraging character development in schools and colleges, promoting an appreciation of the benefits of freedom and stimulating research on the relationship between spirituality and health.

More information on the foundation and guide can be obtained from the web site,


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