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Funding Global Excellence


The President's commission on the Future of the University, formed in 2007, identified ways to distinguish the University of Virginia among its national and international peers and assessed the resources needed to support the University's aspirations to global excellence.

The commission's recommendations shaped the Campaign for the University of Virginia priorities—the student experience, research, global programs, the arts, and new facilities for teaching and learning. Private philanthropy made it possible for the University to construct new buildings for the Schools of Architecture, Arts & Sciences, Commerce, Education, Engineering and Applied Science, Medicine, and Nursing. The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy was created. Private funding also supported new facilities for scientific research and new and renovated structures for the fine arts, the Cavalier Marching Band, and drama. And the campaign has contributed to a dramatic reconfiguration and expansion of the Medical Center.


Architect for the University David Neuman is overseeing the restoration of the Rotunda, the heart of the Grounds and centerpiece of Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village

Now, in the campaign's final phase, the University seeks resources for the restoration of the Rotunda, the physical heart of the Grounds, and for students and faculty, who are the essential heart of the Grounds. Private support will enrich the experiences of those who teach and those who learn—enabling faculty to convey knowledge in more meaningful ways, inspiring students not simply to learn but also to learn to apply their knowledge, giving researchers the capacity to address more complex challenges, and increasing the ability of Health System staff to save lives and improve quality of life.

The University has already secured support for initial work on the Rotunda. In response to the University's petition, in April 2011 the Virginia General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to allocate $2.7 million for repairs to the roof of the Rotunda as part of the initial work to renovate the National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage site. In addition to the substantial roof repairs, extensive work will be done on the building's two porticos, including replacement of the column capitals. Subsequent work will include addressing changes to the Rotunda's interior infrastructure and renewal of the surrounding landscape. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $51 million.


Despite continued economic challenges, alumni, parents, and friends are extending their generosity to the University with gifts small and large. Giving across the Grounds in 2010–11 increased. The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences achieved $41.7 million in new commitments for 2010–11, up from $28 million the previous year. Annual giving, representing smaller gifts, increased among several schools. The following examples illustrate major gifts to priority areas:

Mendel Rosenblum (College '84) gave $3 million to create the Marvin Rosenblum Professorship in the Department of Mathematics. The professorship honors his father, who taught in the department for forty-five years and was an internationally respected expert in operator theory and analysis.

The student-initiated interdisciplinary minor in global sustainability launched in 2011, made possible by gifts from George P. Mitchell of Houston, as well as Martin S. Brown (McIntire '60) and Margaret "Nina" Brown de Clercq (College '90) through the W. L. Lyons Brown Family Foundation.

In 2005, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation chose U.Va as one of nine universities to each receive a five-year, $5 million grant for translation research—moving biomedical engineering projects into commercial products and clinical practices. In 2011, the foundation gave $10 million, matched by $10 million from other University endowments, to fund the U.Va. Coulter Translational Research Partnership. The partnership will continue U.Va.'s efforts to bring life-saving technologies to the marketplace.

A $5 million gift from Amy Mitchell Griffin, a former U.Va. volleyball player, has enabled the Department of Athletics to move forward with design and construction of its new track and field facility. Ms. Griffin's gift is the largest commitment ever made for an Olympic sport capital project at the University.

The campaign continues to maintain momentum. The 2011 reunion broke records, with 5,511 donors contributing more than $46.5 million, for a total alumni participation of 24 percent. The amount raised exceeded reunion giving totals in 2006 by $15.7 million and was the largest dollar amount raised in ten years.

The School of Law, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia's College at Wise, and School of Medicine/School of Nursing have exceeded their goals for the University's $3 billion campaign. The campaign total stands at more than $2.4 billion as of July 31, 2011.