donors commit $77.7 million for endowment
New foundation will support Arts & Sciences
Illustration by Luca E. DiCecco
to ensuring the future success of Arts
& Sciences at the University, leading
alumni and administrators will officially launch a non-profit
fund-raising foundation today. Prior to the public announcement,
a group of philanthropists, most of them College alumni, made
gifts totaling $77.7 million to advance the schools academic,
programmatic and capital needs.
by alumni of the College of Arts & Sciences after receiving
approval from the U.Va. Board of Visitors last June, the College
Foundation is designed to attract high-level private investment
in the Universitys core undergraduate liberal-arts programs.
It is a Virginia non-stock corporation organized exclusively for
charitable and educational purposes. Nine donors, who individually
pledged $5 million or more, have been named founding sponsors.
look forward to supporting, promoting and furthering the aims
of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences in its
quest to achieve the highest Jeffersonian ideals, said Christine
P. Gustafson of Paradise Valley, Ariz., a 1982 alumna of the College,
and College Foundation founding president. The College Foundation
and its board of trustees will achieve that mission by raising
funds, by advising and supporting the dean in his efforts to advance
the College and its reputation, and by constantly striving to
strengthen the College and the Graduate School, she said.
other College alumni who played vital roles in obtaining approval
for the foundation and ultimately in establishing it are Alan
Y. Roberts of Charlottesville, a 1964 graduate and foundation
vice president, and John L. Nau III of Houston, who graduated
in 1968 and chairs the new foundations development committee.
Alan and John have worked with single-minded purpose to create
a foundation to serve the College as other University-related
foundations have, for many years, supported U.Va.s professional
schools, said Melvyn P. Leffler, dean of the College and
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. We are deeply grateful
for their leadership and for what their efforts to launch the
foundation will mean for the Colleges future.
foundations fund-raising priorities include: creating the
Digital Academical Village, an educational initiative intended
to meld digital technologies and the humanities to transform liberal-arts
education; establishing on Carrs Hill a new arts precinct
a group of new and expanded buildings for the fine and
performing arts; renovating and restoring the Colleges historic
buildings; establishing new interdisciplinary programs and academic
centers; and recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty and
the size of the foundations initial endowment, the schools
remaining unmet financial needs still loom large. A sustained,
high-level fund-raising program is required, according to Nau.
To advance the agenda for the College and Graduate School
of Arts & Sciences, he said, we intend to raise
$250 million during the next five years.
the 1990s, the University learned to do things that public institutions
dont generally undertake to be more self-sufficient
than any other public university. This new capacity has lasting
value a value that will sustain the College in this ambitious
endeavor, said University President John T. Casteen III,
an alumnus of both the College and Graduate School and a professor
in the English Department.
extraordinary efforts of these founding members will ensure academic
resources for future generations of students and faculty,
Casteen said. By marshalling and deploying private funds
to support excellence in the academic disciplines that define
human freedom itself the disciplines taught in the College
and the Graduate School these sponsors create a tremendous
public good. We and our children and our grandchildren are all
in their debt.
to the success of creating the College Foundation has been attracting
advance financial support from some of the Colleges most
generous alumni. Nine donors have made commitments of $5 million
gifts from founding sponsors
Kenneth L. Bazzle of Atlanta, a 1953 College alumnus, pledged
$5 million to fund the construction of a new music building in
the proposed arts precinct. Bazzle is the owner and president
of DeMaximus Inc., a private investment company with controlling
interests in real estate, natural resources and software technology.
John H. Birdsall III of Charlottesville, a 1966 graduate
of the College, pledged $5 million to support graduate fellowships
in music and art history, and a professorship in drama. Before
his retirement in 1987, Birdsall was CEO of Tropical Shipping
of Palm Beach, Fla.
Thompson Dean of New York City, a member of the Class of
1979, committed $5 million to the Asian Studies program to establish
the David Dean 21st-Century Professorship in Asian Studies and
the Thompson Dean Family Endowment for Faculty Excellence. Dean
is managing director at Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity.
David Gibson of Somerset, Va., a 1962 alumnus of the College
and a 1965 alumnus of the Law School, pledged $5 million to the
construction of the Digital Academical Village, to establish the
David E. Gibson Family 21st-Century Professorship in Technology
and Culture, and to endow a research fund to link the Miller Center
for Public Affairs and the Digital Academical Village. Before
his retirement, Gibson was executive vice president of Citibank.
The Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation gave $5 million
to the art department to fund construction and renovation of its
buildings and provide programmatic and other support for art.
Ruffin, who died in 1980, graduated from the College in 1926.
Brian T. McAnaney of Stamford, Conn., a 1968 College alumnus,
is a trustee of the Ruffin Foundation.
announced gifts from
Halsey M. Minor of San Francisco, a 1987 College alumnus,
pledged $25 million as a challenge gift to create the Digital
Academical Village. Minor founded and is chair of CNET Networks,
one of the worlds leading new media companies. Minors
gift was announced in October 2000.
Frank Levinson, a 1980 graduate of the doctoral program
in astronomy, and Wynnette Levinson, both of Palo Alto, Calif.,
committed $20 million in December 2000 $10 million to the
Center on Religion and Democracy, a new non-partisan, interdisciplinary
research center, and $10 million to the astronomy department.
U. Bertram Ellis Jr. of Atlanta, a 1975 alumnus of the
College and a 1979 alumnus of the Darden Graduate School of Business
Administration, committed $5 million to the Digital Academical
Village. Ellis is chair and CEO of iXL Enterprises Inc., and Consumer
Financial Network. Ellis pledge was announced in June 2000
during his 25th class reunion along with a $5 million gift to