Campaign is making its mark
When it comes to reading, kids who fall behind often stay
behind, says special education teacher Susan Thacker-Gwaltney.
With the Jean Butcher Fellowship, which supports teachers who
wish to pursue further study, she entered U.Va.'s Curry School
of Education to explore new methods in reading instruction.
She is putting her ideas to work in a Charlottesville classroom,
and the results are rewarding. "It's exciting to see good
teaching push children across the threshold of literacy,"
says Thacker-Gwaltney, here working with Semaje Smith.
raising tops $1.25 billion
of Dec. 31, U.Va. reaches the end of the fund-raising Campaign for
the University officially begun five years ago, having surpassed
the $1 billion goal at the end of last year. The campaign has topped
$1.25 billion, and the gifts are still being counted. The totals
will come out early next year.
least 140,000 donors and alumni have responded to the campaign,
which made the case for boosting financial resources as state support
fell in the last decade. Now, the campaign's successes have given
the University a foundation upon which to design its future, "to
envision ways to build on what our donors have enabled us to accomplish,"
as President John T. Casteen III has put it.
more than a billion dollars in a campaign puts the University in
very exclusive company, but it's important to recognize that the
impact of this effort goes beyond dollars and cents. It has touched
the people of the University in obvious and not-so-obvious ways,"
said Robert D. Sweeney, vice president for development. Full
& Sciences gets $20 million gift
and Wynnette Levinson of Palo Alto, Calif., have committed $20 million
to the University to be divided evenly between the department of
astronomy and a new interdisciplinary center that will study religion
multifaceted gift is one of the top five in U.Va. history and the
largest ever from a former graduate student. Levinson received his
master's degree in astronomy from U.Va. in 1978 and his doctorate
in 1980. Wynnette Levinson worked in the archives at Alderman Library
during their years in Charlottesville.
Levinsons' choice to direct their philanthropy to such distinctly
different initiatives is uncommon among University donors, but emblematic
of the Levinsons' wide-ranging interests. They rank among a new
generation of philanthropists who are helping shape the strategic
objectives of the programs they support, according to Melvyn P.
Leffler, dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
"We are immensely grateful for the generosity of their gift," he
said, "and we are also deeply indebted to them for their expertise
and insight into how the gift should be utilized to maximize its
impact." Full story.
connections between faith and activisms
deeply held religious convictions motivate some of the growing number
of Americans who volunteer to fight poverty and homelessness, share
wealth through charity, or strive to promote racial healing?
reason answers are important is that in an era of smaller government
and welfare cuts, most anti-poverty and community development groups
have some faith-based affiliation, as do many efforts to build bridges
of understanding among races.
long-term theological research program based at the University of
Virginia is seeking to learn more about the relation between Christian
spiritual beliefs and activism, and in the process to forge a closer
connection between the study of theology and the real-life experience
of groups who are putting their beliefs into action.
Project on Lived Theology, just getting under way with a $1 million
grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., is based on the rationale that
"the living energy of faith-shaped communities is a promising and
untapped source for theological inquiry," says its director Charles
Marsh, associate professor of religious studies, who has long been
interested in the connections between what people think about God
and how they live their lives. Although the project focuses on Christian
groups, one of its main aims is to promote discussion about religious
faiths of all types and civic renewal. Full