Dec. 8, 2000 -
Jan. 11, 2001
Vol. 30, Issue 40
Back Issues
Arts & Sciences gets $20 million gift
Ernie Ern to bow out with the year 2000
After Hours - Off U.Va.'s clock, surgeon operates as sculptor

Not just small talk about the weather

Religious Studies has multiplied like loaves and fishes at U.Va.
Fogarty part of Vatican's study of pope's role in WWII
Ochs urges Jews to take a fresh look at Christianity
In Memoriam
President's Report now available
Hot Links - "Censored: Wielding the Red Pen"
President John T. Casteen III's Holiday Open House
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Lemons' legacy: Wise leader with a personal touch
West's quest: cultural continuance of Native American peoples

Search all Press Releases/Inside UVA (keyword/s)
The Campaign is making its mark
Tom Cogill
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.

Fund raising tops $1.25 billion

Staff Report

As 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.

At 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.

"Raising 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 story.

Arts & Sciences gets $20 million gift

Staff Report

Frank 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 and democracy.

Their 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.

The 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.

Charles Marsh
Charles Marsh

Exploring connections between faith and activisms

By Bob Brickhouse

What 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?

One 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.

A 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.

The 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 story.


© Copyright 2000 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

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Anne Bromley

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Robert Brickhouse
Charlotte Crystal
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Ida Lee Wootten
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