Gies honored with Thomas Jefferson Award
John T. Casteen III (right) presented the Thomas Jefferson
Award to Commonwealth Professor of Spanish David Gies at Fall
T. Gies, a noted scholar and administrator who has taught Spanish
literature at the University since 1979, received U.Va.'s highest
honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award, at Fall Convocation ceremonies
annually since 1955, the award honors a member of the University
who exemplifies in character, work and influences the ideals of
the University's founder.
characteristic enthusiasm, grace and good humor, Mr. Gies has
immersed himself in all aspects of University life," the
award citation says of Gies, the Commonwealth Professor of Spanish
and a former president of the Faculty
University is a livelier and a more interesting place in no small
part because of his efforts," President John T. Casteen III
said in presenting the award. He "is a great soul with a
list of personal qualities that would put a boy scout to shame,
and gladden the heart of our founder."
Known for his devotion to the classroom and students, Gies received
the University's Outstanding Teaching Award in 1992. Extending
his influence well beyond his own classroom, he has conducted
numerous educational programs for high school teachers statewide
and nationwide for two decades.
as chair of the Department
of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese from 1984 to 1989 and again
from 1992 to 1995, Gies helped guide the department to a position
as one of the most prestigious language programs in the country.
author or editor of some 12 books, Gies is one of the world's
leading Spanish literature scholars. His book, The Theater in
Nineteenth Century Spain, published by Cambridge University Press,
is a landmark in its field. He served as editor of The Cambridge
Companion to Modern Spanish Culture, published in 1998 and currently
serves as editor of The Cambridge History of Spanish Literature.
As president of the Faculty Senate last year and member of its
executive council since 1997, Gies has worked to enhance the intellectual
community at the University. His efforts on that front have ranged
from helping establish the popular café in the foyer of Alderman
Library as a meeting place for faculty and students to launching
the Forum for Contemporary Thought, a lecture series that brings
speakers of compelling intellectual interest to the University.