Walker win covet Thomas Jefferson Medals
Derry Wade and Michael Marshall
J . Harvie Wilkinson III,
the former Chief Judge of the Richmond-based U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit, and landscape architect Peter Walker,
principal of Peter Walker and Partners and newly selected winner
of the design competition for the World Trade Center memorial,
have been chosen to receive the annual Thomas Jefferson Foundation
in Law and Architecture, respectively.
The medals, sponsored jointly by the University of Virginia and
the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates Monticello,
are the highest outside honors given by U.Va. They will be presented
to Wilkinson and Walker on April 13 as part of Founder’s
Day activities here.
“These medals emphasize the vitality of the Jeffersonian
ideals of creativity and leadership in today’s world, and
it is a privilege to join with the University in honoring individuals
whose accomplishments have had a significant impact on our culture
as well as our legacy for future generations,” said Daniel
P. Jordan, president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
J. Harvie Wilkinson III
Often discussed as a potential U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Wilkinson
earned his J.D. from the U.Va. School of Law in 1972 and then
served as clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell
Wilkinson has returned to the Law School to teach four times.
He served as editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot from 1978-81
and as deputy assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights
Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1983-84. He was
on the University’s Board of Visitors from 1970 to 1973.
He is the author of “Harry Byrd and the Changing Face of
Virginia Politics” (1968); “From Brown to Bakke, The
Supreme Court and School Integration” (1979), and “One
Nation Indivisible, How Ethnic Separatism Threatens America”
Wilkinson is known for conservative rulings. In a speech to the
Law School last spring titled “Why Conservative Jurisprudence
is Compassionate,” he argued that the nation’s courts
have a higher duty to maintain rational and impartial standards
of judgment that preserve public trust in the judiciary than in
finding remedies for social problems, a task properly left to
legislatures. Conservative judges are faulted as too strict about
adhering to rules or caring more about hypothetical future issues
than immediate injuries to claimants, he said, but emotional decisions
lead to disparate outcomes that end up undermining public confidence
in the justice system.
“Reason, cold calculating unimpassioned reason, must furnish
all the materials of our future support and defense,” Wilkinson
said, borrowing Abraham Lincoln’s words.
A founding partner of the architectural firm Sasaki, Walker and
Associates, Peter Walker later opened the firm’s successful
West Coast office, The S.W.A. Group. His current practice, Peter
Walker and Partners, focuses on parks and corporate and educational
campuses, here and abroad. Recent projects include the Millennium
Park for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia; the Sony Center
in Berlin, Germany; the San Diego Library Walk in California;
and Sky Forest Plaza in Tokyo, Japan.
Walker, a graduate of the landscape architecture program at the
University of Illinois and of the Harvard Graduate School of Design,
has chaired departments of landscape architecture at Harvard and
the University of California at Berkeley. His founding of Spacemaker
Press, including the LandFORUM series, raised the visibility of
landscape architecture and provided a scholarly forum for project
He is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects,
a recipient of the Institute Honor from the American Institute
of Architects, a fellow of the Institute of Urban Design and the
recipient of the Rome Prize from the American Institute in Rome,
among other honors.
Both recipients are expected to make public remarks during their
visit here in April. An exhibition of Walker’s work also
will be on display at the School of Architecture, April 5-24,
weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.