|In May we broke ground for the 15,000-seat John Paul Jones Arena, named for the father of benefactor Paul Tudor Jones II (College '76). The $130 million facility will be financed almost entirely with donor support, marking the first time a public institution has built an athletics facility of this type and scale without state tax dollars. In April we announced a gift from Bobbie Nau and John Nau (College '68) for a new home for the history department. The building will be part of the College's plans for the South Lawn, which will also benefit from the recent bond issue. Additionally, expansion of the hospital is under way, and we are building new dining and recreation facilities next to the student residences on Alderman Road.
Other alumni and friends are enabling us to realize the vision emerging from the Virginia 2020 planning process. The extraordinary challenge gift from Hunter and Carl Smith for a new performing arts center, also announced in April, adds tremendous momentum to our drive to improve the fine and performing arts, as does their gift for a new marching and concert band. Our plans for the ensemble, which will make its debut in the fall of 2004, have prompted numerous inquiries from high-school musicians. The Smiths' gift is already helping us attract students who combine both exceptional academic abilities and artistic talent.
Likewise, we are making significant headway in the sciences. At the inaugural symposium of the Morphogenesis and Regenerative Medicine Institute, we announced a $3 million gift from the Ivy Foundation, which is chaired by William C. Battle (College '41, Law '47). Matched with University resources, the gift allows us to create four professorships to recruit and retain outstanding researchers in this field. At the Engineering School, we broke ground for a facility that will support our emerging programs in nanotechnology, a building made possible by the state bond issue and a gift from Gregory Olsen (Engineering '71), a leader in the field of photo sensors.
The current transformation extends to our libraries, which are renowned for the breadth and accessibility of their collections, both on the shelf and online. Between Alderman and Clemons libraries, the handsome structure that will house the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture and the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library is nearing completion. And at Clark Hall, in a space created decades ago to house our law books, students are enjoying a newly renovated Science and Engineering Library. This is a place where the Web is accessible from every chair and where students can curl up with a book or a laptop computer in a sun-bathed reading room warmed by a fireplace.
With state appropriations declining to 8.1 percent of our revenues this year, we are finding new ways to finance our operations and our aspirations. The University attracted a record $262 million in philanthropic support in 2002-2003, which included the remarkable gifts from the estate of David A. Harrison III (College '39, Law '41), as well as $34 million in annual giving from 51,000 alumni, parents, and friends. Private funds now exceed state funds in our budgeted resources, and we are grateful to the many benefactors whose generosity has sustained us in difficult times. Their support enabled the University to regain its place as the nation's top public institution (tied with the University of California, Berkeley) as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
|We are creating new opportunities for undergraduates to take part in independent research, and we are developing imaginative ways for students to learn in real-world environments.
We are transforming the curriculum, ensuring that the classroom experience here is not only engaging but also rigorous and, indeed, life-changing. We are creating new opportunities for undergraduates to take part in independent research, and we are developing imaginative ways for students to learn in real-world environments. For the engineering students who took part in Washington internships last year, for example, there was no better way to gain insights into how our national science policy takes form.
For effective learning to take place, we must provide a safe and collegial environment. Our efforts to stem alcohol abuse and other destructive behaviors have won national recognition, although much work remains to be done. We are also striving to bridge racial divides that have surfaced with recent, offensive incidents. These occurrences and subsequent discussions with students and faculty have raised serious concerns about our climate and our culture. We must help students understand our history, how courageous women and men brought down the barriers of the past, and how we are all enriched by a community that embraces inclusiveness and diversity.
As we add our contributions to the work of previous generations, we can take satisfaction in the legacy we are building for those who follow, and we can look with gratitude to those whose support is making this transformation possible.
John T. Casteen III