April 20-26, 2001
Back Issues
U.Va. to propose health insurance subsidy for its graduate assistants
New foundation will support Arts & Sciences
Congress among 2001 Muzzle Award winners
In Memoriam

Caplin decries trend toward multidisciplinary law practices

How teachers draw their students in
Using new technology brings major changes to arts precinct classrooms
Architecture team designs high-tech Wright model
Hot Links -- Va.Garden Week
Enrollment correction
'Today' at UVA -- Katie Couric visit
This might be the week to read a good film
Give air a break
It's a case of mind over bother
New U.Va. logo debuts

Private donors commit $77.7 million for endowment
New foundation will support Arts & Sciences

By Kennedy Kipps

 The College Foundation
Photo Illustration by Luca E. DiCecco

Committed 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 school’s academic, programmatic and capital needs.

Created 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 University’s 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.

“We 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.

Two 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 foundation’s development committee.

“Chris, 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 College’s future.”

The foundation’s 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 Carr’s Hill a new arts precinct — a group of new and expanded buildings for the fine and performing arts; renovating and restoring the College’s historic buildings; establishing new interdisciplinary programs and academic centers; and recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty and students.

Despite the size of the foundation’s initial endowment, the school’s 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.”

“During the 1990s, the University learned to do things that public institutions don’t 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.

“The 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.”

Early financial support

Key to the success of creating the College Foundation has been attracting advance financial support from some of the College’s most generous alumni. Nine donors have made commitments of $5 million or more.

New 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.

Previously announced gifts from founding sponsors

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 world’s leading new media companies. Minor’s 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 Darden.


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

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page