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

Teachers inspire students to transform their lives

Richard Guy Wilson Richard Guy Wilson

“A basic creed informs my teaching,” says Richard Guy Wilson, recipient of the Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award. “A sort of Boy Scout’s oath: be prepared, be good, be accurate, have humor, do not browbeat, and give. … High standards are crucial, you want students to reach further than they would on their own, but not crash.”

This creed permeates all that Wilson, Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History in the School of Architecture, brings to his teaching, scholarship and public life. A preeminent scholar and preservationist, his passion and enthusiasm for the role of architecture in American culture is legendary among his students and peers.

Whether in a lecture, a discussion seminar, or a casual encounter in the hall, Wilson’s concern for his students and his commitment and passion prompted many of them to support his nomination for the award. They describe him as inspiring, caring, generous and supportive.

“There is no greater personal joy than when life affords you the opportunity of meeting someone who stimulates and enhances your existence and ultimately leads you to believe in your own success,” said Jeffrey S. Driscoll a fourth-year undergraduate student. “For myself, Mr. Wilson was this individual.”

In support of Wilson’s nomination, one alumnus wrote, “Richard Wilson is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had for several reasons, but the most important is that he teaches by example. … His constant stream of work inspires his students to keep producing, questioning and thinking.”

Beyond the classroom, his support extends to his scholarship. He regularly invites students to collaborate with him on exhibitions or publications, opening the door into the research and publication world. Wilson has curated numerous museum and gallery exhibitions and has appeared on the Arts and Entertainment Channel television series, “America’s Castles.”

“The best teachers touch their students’ lives and, by their example, inspire them to transform themselves,” said Sara Wilson, a Ph.D. candidate. “Mr. Wilson has done this for generations of students. I am one of them.”

— Jane Ford


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