This institution [the University of Virginia] will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind." –Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, has been celebrated at the University of Virginia since the University’s first academic session. Since April 13 falls on a weekend this year, Founder's Day will be celebrated on Friday, April 11, 2014.
On Founder’s Day, UVa and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the private, nonprofit corporation that has owned and operated Monticello since 1923, join together to present the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals to recognize enduring contributions in three fields that Jefferson held in high regard -- architecture, law, and citizen leadership. This year's recipients are: 1) Toyo Ito (Medal in Architecture) - 2) Ken Feinberg (Medal in Law) and 3) Jim Webb (Medal in Citizen Leadership). While on Grounds, each recipient will give a public talk in their field of expertise. The public talks are free and open to the public (schedule).
In addition to the presentation of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals, U.Va. plants a tree in celebration of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the University. This year, U.Va. will pay tribute to Jay Klingel and his 35 years of outstanding service to the University community. This event is open to the public. To read more about Jay and the tree planting ceremony, please click here.
This year, in conjunction with Founder's Day, UVa will host a revival of Public Day and the first ever #TJBDay:
- Public Day: The goal of Public Day is to provide the entire community the opportunity to experience the outstanding scholarship, research, and creative work of UVa undergraduate and graduate students. Capstone projects from each school will be represented, as well as various winners of university-wide programs, such as Harrison Awards, Jefferson Public Citizens, OpenGrounds Challenges, and business plan competitions.
- #TJBDay: a celebration aimed at raising awareness and encouraging students, alumni, parents, and friends to support need-based student scholarships and AccessUVa. #TJBDay has three parts: 1) Digital Talent Show 2) Giving Campaign and 3) Birthday Party in the UVa Bookstore. Every dollar raised between Thursday (4/10) and Sunday (4/13) will be matched through a generous grant challenge by UVa alum John Griffin.