April 6-12, 2001
Back Issues
Awards celebrate dedicated teaching at the University
U.Va. bestows annual Thomas Jefferson medals
Well-bred mice may hold clues to cause of Crohn's disease

Teachers inspire students to transform their lives

Athletics task force report recommends restructuring sports program, finances and academic support
In Memoriam
Hot Links -- Department of Taxation
Graduate programs ranked
Best-selling Baldacci to speak at U.Va.
Architecture School sets up exchange program with German university
University seeking associate director for study abroad
Lectures to focus on nationalism and globalization

Thomas Jefferson U.Va. bestows annual Thomas Jefferson medals

Staff Report

Mortimer Caplin, former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and a pre-
eminent tax attorney, will receive the 25th annual Thomas Jefferson Medal in Law, and Glenn Murcutt, who is known for ecologically sensitive work combining elements of regional vernacular with modernist tradition, will receive the 36th annual Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture. The Jefferson Medals are the highest outside honors bestowed by the University, which grants no honorary degrees.

Sponsored jointly by the University and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Inc., the non-profit organization that owns and operates Monticello, the awards are part of the University’s annual Founder’s Day celebration, usually held on April 13, Jefferson’s birthday. Since April 13 falls on Good Friday this year, Founder’s Day will be celebrated on April 12.

Both recipients will give public lectures on April 11, in connection with their awards. Murcutt will speak on “Place, Technology and Culture: Architecture for the Australian Landscape” at 2 p.m. in the Old Cabell Hall Auditorium. Caplin will speak on “The State of Lawyering” in the Law School’s Caplin Pavilion at 3:30 p.m.

The Thomas Jefferson Medal in Law is conferred to a person of outstanding achievement in American or international law. Caplin’s “many-faceted professional career reflects the astonishing breadth of his service and accomplishments as academic lawyer, public servant and distinguished practitioner,” said Law School Dean Robert Scott. “He has exemplified the Jeffersonian ideal of the lawyer as public citizen.”

Born in 1916 in New York, Caplin graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1937 and the School of Law in 1940. He taught tax law at U.Va. from 1950 to 1961, when President John F. Kennedy tapped him to be commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. In 1964, Caplin resigned from the IRS and co-founded Caplin & Drysdale, the Washington, D.C.-based law firm where he still is a senior partner and practices as a tax law authority. He was a visiting professor in tax law at U.Va. for 22 years, retiring as a professor emeritus in 1988.

Caplin has been a generous benefactor to the University, especially to the Law School. He has served on the U.Va. Board of Visitors, as a trustee of the Law School Foundation and as chair of the University’s Council for the Arts since its inception in 1990. His gifts have funded the Law School’s Caplin Auditorium and other major improvements to the school’s facilities, the Daniel Caplin Professorship and a public service center, scholarship and award.

Glenn Murcutt, Australia’s best-known architect, was born in England and spent his early years in New Guinea before moving with his family to Sydney, Australia, where he studied architecture at the University of New South Wales.

“We are so pleased to honor Glenn Murcutt this year,” said Karen Van Lengen, dean of the School of Architecture. “His thoughtful, ethical, aesthetic approach to the design of the environment honors the true spirit of Jefferson and provides a wonderful example for our students and faculty.” The architecture medal is given for lasting contributions to a field that deeply interested Jefferson.

Since 1969 Murcutt has worked almost exclusively alone in his practice, single-handedly guiding every aspect of a project from conception to completion in his Sydney office. His designs integrate the structure with the landscape, climate and client requirements. Considered both an environmentalist and a naturalist, he has long been interested in traditional societies and his work with Australia’s Aboriginal community and culture and their sense of place has been a cornerstone of his architecture.


© Copyright 2001 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

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