We Hold These Truths...
An Unprecedented Demonstration of Support

This University was conceived as a work-in-progress. Jefferson designed the Lawn as a model for the Academical Village, never intending the University's evolution to end with the last brick set in place in the Rotunda walls. Instead, he thought about the University as an ongoing project, requiring creativity, good will, and the skill of future generations.
Jefferson was explicit on this point. He wrote,

"[My purpose is] to establish beginnings . . . to be developed by time as those who come after us shall find expedient. They will be more advanced than we are in science and in useful arts, and will know best what will suit the circumstances of their day."
"Private philanthropy gave the University its beginning. It has built this place, and it has sustained it in tough times. Your gifts of time, talents, and common sense, your willingness to help us strategize about the University's future, and your material gifts have given the University strength and resilience."   President Casteen's State of the University Address, October 7, 1995 in Cabell Hall

This year, prompted by the complex circumstances of our day, we have come together to rededicate ourselves to this remarkable act of creation. With cut backs in state support for higher education, the responsibility for renewal falls squarely on University alumni, friends, and benefactors. The Campaign for the University of Virginia, which was launched formally in October, is the corner stone of this effort. It takes as its theme "We Hold These Truths," a phrase from the Declaration of Independence that is at once a salute to the University's Jeffersonian heritage and a reference to the tradition of honor at Virginia.

We have already made extraordinary progress in reaching the goal of $750 million. During the last two years, President John T. Casteen, III, has met with alumni groups around the world, solicited their vision for the University's future, and worked with them to set campaign goals. Thanks to the efforts of the campaign's executive committee, chaired by Joshua P. Darden, Jr. (Col '58); the National Leadership Gifts Council, headed by Charles L. Brown (Engr '43); and the thousands of volunteers who have given generously of their time and resources, we raised $350 million as of October 1995, including more than $55 million in gifts and pledges an nounced during the kickoff weekend alone. These included several examples of extraordinary generosity.

Thomas A. Saunders, III (Darden '67), and his wife, Jordan Horner Saunders, have created a $10 million trust to establish an academic center for executive education in the Darden School. The gift is the largest single contribution in the school's forty-year history. Mr. Saunders, chairman of both the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees and the Campaign for Darden, and Mrs. Saunders, a member of the campaign's executive committee and chairman of the Kickoff Dinner Committee, earlier donated more than $3 million to the Darden School. The school will dedicate Saunders Hall, the focal point of the new Darden Grounds, in their honor.

Albert H. Small (Engr '46), a member of the Board of Visitors, has given the University a rare documents collection, valued at $25 million. This collection includes a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1825 and additional rare pieces relating to Jefferson and the American Revolution. Mr. Small has also pledged $2.5 million toward construction of a new Special Collections Library.

Albert H. Small

Our Lifelong Conversation
with Mr. Jefferson

The Campaign for the University of Virginia, the largest per capita fund-raising campaign ever undertaken by a public institution, officially opened October 6-8 with a series of events on Grounds. More than one thousand alumni and friends came to Charlottesville to hear President John T. Casteen, III, deliver the State of the University address, listen to former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove read from her works, and attend discussions by University professors on their latest research. Visitors could take a moment out from their busy schedule to relax at an Alumni-Hall re-creation of Carroll's Tea Room.

A $10 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Saunders, III, was announced at the kickoff weekend.

The University's guests later enjoyed an elegant, candle-lit dinner on the Lawn, organized by Jordan Saunders, a member of the campaign executive committee. After dinner, President Casteen expressed his admiration for the University's benefactors and speculated on the powerful loyalty that inspires them: "The answer, I think, is our individual and general attachments to Mr. Jefferson-one with whom all of us, consciously or not, began here a lifelong conversation about the most fundamental human values. As we seek to preserve his creations and to realize his notions of progress in our own time, our engagement with him deepens."

Journalist and alumna Katie Couric, serving as the emcee of the event, introduced speakers such as Edward L. Ayers, Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History, and recent U.Va. graduate and Rhodes Scholar Zayde Antrim.

Katie Couric and President Casteen attend a luncheon for the Lawn Society.

The evening ended with remarks from the chairman of the campaign and former University rector, Joshua P. Darden, Jr., who closed the program with a heartfelt letter to Mr. Jefferson. "What we've all come tonight to say is - you can rest, Mr. Jefferson. We are here now. You can set down the burdens of the school, you can set them down. All is safe. All of us here tonight and others who love this place are lifting those burdens from your shoulders and your great heart. You never again need worry about the prosperity of the University. We will carry on your dreams. You are free. So, old friend, be at peace . . . and rest well."

Go on to We Hold These Truths...   Leadership Gifts to Sustain the Future

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