Oct. 29-Nov. 11, 2004
Back Issues
Fall Convocation
U.Va. well-prepared for flu season
Zelikow hailed for work well done
Computer safety issue brought to forefront
Taking the pulse of the people
U.Va.’s expertise on the presidency and politics keeps public informed
Bringing the Asian-American experience to light
Faculty forming Sustained Dialogue group
New ‘J-term’ offers exciting course options

Support undergraduate research, Faculty Senate urged

Deeper space coming into focus
The adventure ends for writer and English professor Douglas Day
A ghost, a goblin and a cavalier?
Six heads on display
For poet Rita Dove, ‘poetry is about life’


Fall Convocation
Scott receives Thomas Jefferson Award, Gies address importance of language education in global world
Fall Convocation
Photo by Lincoln Ross Barbour

Staff Report
After conferring honors on 347 third-year U.Va. students, President John T. Casteen III (above left) announced Robert E. Scott (center) as this year’s winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award. When the former dean of the Law School tried to return to his seat, Casteen beckoned him back to stand for an extended round of applause before sharing some of the beloved faculty member’s accomplishments with those at Fall Convocation on Oct. 22.

In presenting the award, Casteen noted that Scott, a nationally renowned teacher and scholar in the fields of contracts, commercial law and bankruptcy, was receiving U.Va.’s highest honor for his “integrity and honor, bold and skillful leadership, unfailing civility and uncompromising excellence … qualities that have distinguished [his] tenure as dean and his 35 years of teaching and scholarship.”

Under his leadership, the School of Law completed a capital campaign in 2000, raising $203 million. Scott also spearheaded the most ambitious building project in the school’s history, a $30 million renovation of the David A. Harrison III Law Grounds, completed in 1997, followed by a $7 million law student-
faculty meeting and dining center, completed in 2002 and appropriately named “Scott Commons.”

Photos by Lincoln Ross Barbour
U.Va. President John T. Casteen III (right) visits with students and parents at a reception following convocation ceremonies on Oct. 22.

In addition to capital projects, Scott instituted the Mary Morton Parsons Seminars in Ethical Values, a program that provides insights into the moral and ethical responsibilities of the lawyer as public citizen, and founded the school’s Principles & Practice Program, which brings leading practitioners and judges to the Law School to team teach advanced courses with full-time faculty.

An important part of Scott’s role has been to set the intellectual tone and agenda for the Law School. Prior to becoming dean, he founded the Legal Studies Workshop at the school, one of the first faculty colloquia of its kind. As dean, he has urged the Law School community to aspire to preeminence in its teaching mission and in the equally important obligation of engaging in scholarly research that advances the University’s core function as an institution dedicated to the search for truth.

In April 2000, the Board of Visitors established the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professorship in Law, made possible by an outpouring of support from more than 250 of his colleagues on the faculty, former students, and other alumni and friends of the school. Together, they committed $1.9 million for the professorship.

Scott, who returned to teaching in 2001, is currently the David and Mary Harrison Professor of Law.

David Gies
Spanish professor David T. Gies gave the keynote address at the ceremony.

In addition to the announcement of Scott’s award and intermediate honors during convocation ceremonies, the
recipients of the 2004 Teaching Awards were announced and Spanish professor David T. Gies presented the keynote
address on the importance of language education in the modern world.

“We still have a long way to go if we are to educate ourselves and the next generation of students for life in a global economy,” said the former chairman of the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese and the 2000 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award.

Gies outlined the misadventures of failed marketing campaigns by U.S. automobile companies in South and Central America that were a result of auto executives who did not understand what the car names translated to in Spanish and Portuguese. The Chevrolet Nova, as an example, translates into “The Chevrolet Won’t Go.”

He also contradicted a Harvard University professor who views Hispanics as a threat — culturally and politically — to the country. Gies said it is good politics and good business to pay attention to the Hispanic market.

“Some 40 million Hispanics — 14 percent of the population — now spend $700 billion a year, and one-third of them are under 18 years old,” he said. “There is a 20 percent annual growth in advertising in Spanish; Hispanics will spend $1 trillion by the year 2010 — just six years from today — and $5.8 billion was spent by Hispanics in Virginia alone.”

U.Va. recognized 347 undergraduates with intermediate honors.

The growing Hispanic population is an opportunity, not a threat, Gies said.

“Even as we move toward an English-dominant world, language diversity is the wave of the future, and we can either be swept up in that wave and ride its crest, or we can let it wash over us and drown us,” he said.

Gies said the University has shown strong support for languages and must be poised for the challenge of the future.


© Copyright 2004 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

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