U.Va. planning future
of Morven Farm, seeks guidance from community
by Bill Sublette
view of Kluges estate taken from the entrance to historic
John W. Kluge gave his 7,378-acre Albemarle County estate to the
of Virginia Foundation last May, his desire was for the University
to develop the core of his property the 749-acre historic
Morven Farm for educational purposes.
nine months later, the University is launching a long-term planning
initiative to determine how best to use Morven Farm to further
the Universitys academic mission. Over the next several
years, the University will seek the guidance of faculty, students,
administrators and staff members to design a comprehensive plan
for Morven Farm.
the time the gift was made, University
President John T. Casteen III called it an invaluable
treasure that will advance the Universitys academic mission
as well as the public interest for generations to come. It offers
unprecedented opportunities to help the University realize the
goals of Virginia 2020, our long-term planning process.
recently, Casteen has said that he envisions a thriving
academic environment in which scholars, students, artists and
international leaders in their fields can come together to advance
scholarship and learning.
make the vision a reality, Gene Block, vice
president and provost, is leading a University-wide planning
team that will turn to the academic community for ideas that would
be compatible with the core property.
ambitious planning process, which will unfold over several years,
intends to focus on but not be limited to four previously
identified areas: environmental and landscape studies, performing
and creative arts, international activities, and public service
and outreach. These are all areas, Block said, that either relate
directly to Virginia 2020 or that will help transform established
areas of excellence into centers of global preeminence.
spring, representatives from three University offices the
provosts, the executive vice presidents and the foundations
will move across Grounds, meeting with schools, departments,
faculty and students to brainstorm and discuss potential uses
of Kluges gift.
late spring, Blocks committee will put out a call for formal
proposals with a fall deadline from anyone in the
University community interested in presenting an idea. The group
will review the proposals and make recommendations to Casteen,
who will give final approval to programs selected for the next
planning committees will then step in to begin the hard work of
conducting cost analyses and, among other things, developing the
core propertys infrastructure.
Kluge gave his estate to U.Va., which includes 10 farms in addition
to Morven Farm, he recommended that the University begin to sell
the additional properties to create an endowment to support the
a businessman and philanthropist who has been a longtime University
benefactor, will retain use of the Morven Farm core property,
plus an adjacent 490 acres of farmland, throughout his lifetime.
The gift of his estate, valued in excess of $45 million, was the
second largest in the Universitys history.