Carey, students honored at
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
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,”
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.
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
American students can become good world citizens and contribute
knowledge to the United States as it acts on the world stage,
“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.”