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Morven Garden Photo
The Japanese Garden at Morven.

Morven Farm: A Property
That Holds Great Promise

John Kluge Photo
As President Casteen looks on, John W. Kluge speaks at the Rotunda on May 25, the day his gift is announced.

The main house at Morven Farm, a Virginia Historic Landmark, was built in 1821, just as the pavilions and student rooms were rising on the Lawn. Both projects drew on the same pool of builders and tradesmen. Today, Morven is known for such exquisite landscapes as a three-acre Japanese garden and tea pavilion built by Japanese craftsmen in 1995.

Under the terms of John W. Kluge's gift, the University will preserve in perpetuity approximately 749 acres of Morven Farm for educational uses. Ten other working properties, currently leased to farmers, will eventually be sold and the proceeds used to establish an endowment to maintain and operate the remaining property and to establish ongoing educational programs there.

Over time, the University will develop a comprehensive plan for Morven. Its buildings provide spaces that could be used for meetings and conferences, musical performances, art exhibitions, and studios for visiting artists. Future plans also could include renovation of barns into dormitory-style lodging for summer workshops, visiting research fellows, or a residential program for writers.

Thomas Jefferson was the University of Virginia's first fundraiser. He realized his vision for the Academical Village by acquiring more than $40,000 in private contributions, which were combined with the $15,000 provided initially by the Virginia legislature. In doing so, he created a model for sustaining the University that continues to guide us today. The Campaign for the University of Virginia demonstrated in dramatic ways our capacity to add new sources of support to our core funding. It also represented a test of our resolve to pursue ambitious goals and, with the help of many benefactors, to reach them.

When the University celebrated the kickoff of the campaign in October 1995, it set a target of $750 million. At that time, even the most optimistic among us could not have projected that the final tally would be nearly double that amount, reaching $1.43 billion in gifts, pledges, and other commitments by the campaign's conclusion on December 31, 2000. This is the second-highest total ever raised by a public university.

Much of the success of the campaign rests with its volunteer leaders, particularly Joshua P. Darden, Jr. (College '58), who chaired the campaign from 1993 to 1997, and Edward C. Mitchell, Jr. (College '63), and Thomas A. Saunders III (Darden '67), co-chairmen of the campaign from 1997 to 2000. The University community owes them and many other volunteers an enormous debt of gratitude.

The Imprint of the Campaign

The effects of the campaign can be seen across the Grounds, most notably in the new and expanded facilities completed or under construction for arts and sciences, law, graduate business, medicine, and athletics. Pavilion VII, the oldest building on the Lawn, has been restored, as have seventeen Jeffersonian student rooms. These new and renovated structures will support education and student life for decades to come.

Less visible but no less significant is the campaign's human impact. With commitments to endow 154 professorships, 122 fellowships, and 616 scholarships, the University has secured the resources to bring the best minds into its academic community.

Forty-five percent of the $1.43 billion raised, or $638 million, came from alumni, a measure of the value they place on their experiences at the University and the way it shaped their lives. Among fourteen institutions that have recently completed comparable campaigns, the University's giving per alumnus ($9,700) was the highest for a public university and sixth overall.







Campaign Total By Area

Campaign Total Image

The last months of the campaign saw a number of significant contributions. Frank and Wynnette Levinson of Palo Alto, California, committed $20 million to the University to be divided evenly between the Department of Astronomy and a new interdisciplinary center that will study the relationship between religion and democracy. Mr. Levinson (Graduate Arts and Sciences '78, '80) received his master's degree and doctorate in astronomy at Virginia.

Another former graduate student, Gregory Olsen (Engineering '71) of Princeton, New Jersey, pledged $15 million to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, where he received a Ph.D. degree in 1971. Most of the gift will be used to finance a new building to be named in honor of the late Heinz Wilsdorf, first chair of the department, and his wife, Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf, a distinguished researcher who has taught in the materials science and physics departments for some forty years.

Strengthening Our Resolve

The generosity of the campaign's 142,000 donors proved to be an invitation to assess our prospects for the future, to identify our present strengths and weaknesses, and to make the hard decisions that will place the University, once and for all, among the best institutions of higher learning in the world. To translate our long-range plans into action will present a new test of our mettle, and already our benefactors are stepping forward with their support.

This spring, a group of philanthropists, mostly alumni of the College of Arts and Sciences, formed the College Foundation of the University of Virginia and announced that they and other donors had committed $77.7 million to the University's core liberal arts programs. Formed to work in partnership with the dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the foundation is led by a board of thirty trustees. Alan Y. Roberts (College '64) was recently elected president of the board, succeeding founding president Christine Gustafson (College '82).

The sum given to Arts and Sciences includes previously announced commitments from Halsey Minor (College '87), Wynnette Levinson and Frank Levinson (Graduate Arts and Sciences '78, '80), and U. Bertram Ellis, Jr. (College '75, Darden '79), as well as new gifts and pledges from Kenneth L. Bazzle (College '53), John H. Birdsall III (College '66), Thompson Dean (College '79), David Gibson (College '62, Law '65), and the Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation. These gifts will support digital innovations and new and expanded facilities for the arts and other areas of the College. They will also endow graduate fellowships in music and art history, professorships in drama and Asian studies, and a new chair devoted to exploring the intersections of technology and culture.

Another extraordinary gift received since the close of the campaign was from businessman and philanthropist John W. Kluge, who gave the University of Virginia Foundation 7,378 acres in Albemarle County. This unprecedented gift of real estate includes historic Morven Farm, ten other working farms, and more than two dozen houses and modernized farm buildings. Valued in excess of $45 million, it is the second largest single gift in the University's history and more than doubles the land holdings of the University and its related foundations in central Virginia. Mr. Kluge is general partner, chairman, and president of Metromedia Company, one of the nation's largest privately held companies.

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