Nov. 7-20, 2003
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Carey, students honored at Convocation
Setting Monacan history straight
University increases minimum wage
Correction — “How Things Work” Honor Cases
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Warren examines insanity pleas in criminal defense cases
Archaeology, architecture joined by theories of culture, ideas
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Carey, students honored at Convocation

President John Casteen III (right) congratulates Dr. Robert Carey on receiving this year’s Thomas Jefferson Award, U.Va.’s highest honor.

Photo by Peggy Harrison
President John Casteen III (right) congratulates Dr. Robert Carey on receiving this year’s Thomas Jefferson Award, U.Va.’s highest honor.

By Matt Kelly

“I’m still in shock,” said former School of Medicine Dean Robert M. Carey as he shook hands and hugged well-wishers, minutes after being named the 2003 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award.

U.Va. President John T. Casteen III presented the University’s highest honor to Carey, 63, who served for 16 years as Medical School dean and is known internationally as a researcher, at Fall Convocation, held Oct. 31 at University Hall. “This is a wonderful surprise,” Carey said after the ceremony. “It is the greatest honor I could have received and it honors my family.”

The Thomas Jefferson Award is presented annually to a member of the University community who exemplifies in character, work and influence the principles and ideals of the University’s founder. Carey was nominated by colleagues, students and alumni, who lauded him as a passionate scientist and scholar, an institutional change agent, a champion of humanistic and professional values, a leader whose actions bespeak integrity and honor, a model citizen of the University and a servant of the public good.

“Dr. Carey has been an exemplar of the best in academic medicine,” Casteen said in presenting the award. “Peerless as a scientist, he also has been a mentor to generations of physician-scientists and a visionary administrator. To say that he transformed academic medicine at the University is to speak unadorned truth.

“No one is more deserving of the honor we pay him today,” Casteen said.

U.Va. President John T. Casteen III (center) and his wife, Betsy, met with students and their family members at a reception on the Lawn Nov. 1. Here, they are talking with John Wood (right), and his son, Ben (left), who is a student here.
Photo by Tom Cogill
U.Va. President John T. Casteen III (center) and his wife, Betsy, met with students and their family members at a reception on the Lawn Nov. 1. Here, they are talking with John Wood (right), and his son, Ben (left), who is a student here. The reception was part of Family Weekend events, held Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

Carey stepped down from the dean’s post last year and has been on an “internal sabbatical,” working on his research on hormonal control of blood pressure. He said he enjoys working with patients again, something he did not often do as dean.

Also at the ceremony, 354 third-year students received intermediate honors for their academic achievements during their first two years at the University — shortly after the keynote speaker suggested that they “go away.” William B. Quandt, the Edward R. Stettinius Jr. Professor of Politics and Vice Provost for International Affairs, urged students to learn new ideas and make their own accomplishments by studying abroad.

“I want our students to place themselves in another setting where every day they have to question some of their core assumptions,” Quandt told the assembly. “I want them to get out of their ‘comfort zone’ for a while, to experience what it is like to not be part of the dominant culture.”

Quandt recounted some his own learning experiences abroad, recalling his self-consciousness about communicating as a young student in Japan, and the difficulties he had in asking directions, in both French and classical Arabic, in Algeria. He also cited a letter from a parent who was very impressed with the lasting impact a foreign studies program in South Africa had on his daughter.

“It is these kinds of experiences that simply cannot be replicated here on Grounds, and yet they are incredibly important for us as citizens of the world,” Quandt said.

The value to the nation is evident now, he said, with the country’s involvement with Iraq.

“With over 150,000 troops in Iraq, and with ambitious plans afoot to remake the Middle East, I worry that our lack of knowledge of this region will undermine our ability to achieve our goals — and may even set the stage for a deeper alienation between Americans and Arabs and Muslims than already exists,” Quandt said.

American students can become good world citizens and contribute knowledge to the United States as it acts on the world stage, he said.

“We do not have the luxury of turning our back on the rest of the world,” Quandt said. “At the same time, we cannot rule the world by force of arms alone. We will need friends, partners and allies if we are to succeed, people who share our values and who feel that we respect them and their cultures.”

Many University graduates have already taken Quandt’s message to heart, volunteering for service in the Peace Corps.

The corps honored the University Friday for contributing more than 760 volunteers to its mission, a record for a school its size. Josephine K. Olsen, deputy director of the Peace Corps, recounted her own experience in Tunisia, as a young Mormon celebrating Ramadan with her Arab hosts.

“At sunset, the family waited at the table for me to arrive before breaking their fast,” she said.

A couple serving as Peace Corps volunteers influenced a young child who grew up to be the president of Peru, she said, as she told students and their parents of the cultural bridges the Peace Corps volunteers have built with people in other countries.

“For every success, I have five failures,” Olsen said of the volunteers’ experience. “At first that might seem like a depressing ratio, but at the end of the day, or at the end of two years for that matter, my neighbors and friends are better because of that one success, and I have learned from the lessons of five failures.”


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