We wish to establish in the upper and healthier country, and more centrally for the state, a University on a plan so broad and liberal and modern, as to be worth patronizing with the public support.
Jefferson was a man of many talents, and he expressed them fully in founding the University of Virginia in 1819; he outlined the institution's purpose, designed its buildings, supervised construction, and planned its curriculum. He also directed the recruitment of its faculty.
When classes began in 1825, with 68 students and a faculty of eight, the University of Virginia embodied dramatic new ideas in American higher education. In an era when colleges trained scholars for the clergy and academia, Jefferson dedicated his University to the education of citizens in practical affairs and public service. The innovative curriculum permitted the student a broader range of study than was available at other colleges and universities of the day, and Jefferson implemented novel ideas concerning student self-government and religious freedom.
This educational community was built around a rectangular, terraced green -- the Lawn -- flanked by two continuous rows of identical, one-story rooms. These rows are accented by large buildings, the Pavilions, each in a different style. Both the rooms and the Pavilions open onto a colonnaded walkway fronting the Lawn. Behind each of the two rows of buildings are public gardens delineated by serpentine brick walls and backed by yet another set of rooms. The Rotunda, a half-scale model of the Roman Pantheon, closes off one end of the Lawn, while the south end was originally left open to a vista of the mountains.
The genius of Jefferson's design is that it integrates housing for students and faculty as well as classroom and library space into a single unit. Students lived on the Lawn and in the outer two rows of rooms, the Ranges. Faculty members lived in the Pavilions; the Rotunda held the library and classroom space.
Although the University has grown since Jefferson's time, the Lawn remains the intellectual and spiritual heart of the academical village and serves much of its original purpose. Students who have made special contributions to the University are awarded a Lawn room in their fourth-year; senior faculty and their families live in the Pavilions, where classes are also held; and graduate students live in the Ranges. The Rotunda's oval rooms and the Dome Room are used for meetings of the Board of Visitors, dinners, and other ceremonial occasions, as well as for student activities.
The special grace and character of Jefferson's design are widely recognized. As Ada Louise Huxtable has noted in the New York Times, the University "is probably the single most beautiful and effective architectural group of its kind in the country, or in the history of American building." In 1976, the American Institute of Architects proclaimed it one of the outstanding achievements in American architecture; in 1988, the Lawn was named to the prestigious World Heritage List.
Each year, the area attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists, who come to see the Grounds of the University, visit the homes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, tour local wineries, and hike through the Shenandoah National Park, just 20 miles west in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Charlottesville has its own traditions. The community celebrates each spring with a Dogwood Festival and New Year's Eve with First Night Virginia fireworks and entertainment. Steeplechase fans attend the Foxfield Races and every spring, runners in the Charlottesville Ten-Miler rush through town toward the finish line at University Hall.
A pedestrian mall downtown offers fine dining, distinctive shops, and nightspots in a historical section of the city. In the Court Square area, lawyers and business people occupy offices in buildings dating back to the 1700s. The city is known for its fine restaurants, appealing to every taste and budget, and many establishments present nightly entertainment by local artists. The Virginia Festival of American Film, is held at the University of Virginia brings new visitors and celebrities to the area each fall, along with movies, seminars, and premieres.
Charlottesville is located 120 miles from Washington, D.C. and 70 miles from Richmond. Airlines offer more than 30 flights daily to such destinations as New York, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Pittsburgh. Major highways convenient to the city include Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 29. Nationwide bus and railway service for passengers and freight is provided by Greyhound, AMTRAK, Norfolk Southern, and the CSX Corporation. The Charlottesville Transit System and the University Transit System provide bus service on Grounds and around the city. Maps of the University are available free of charge from the University of Virginia Visitor's Center at 2304 Ivy Road, Charlottesville, Va. 22903.
The University's full-time faculty numbers almost 2,000, most of whom conduct research and publish their findings on a regular basis. The University has established more than 350 endowed professorships for outstanding scholars, and the Center for Advanced Studies plays a major role in attracting and retaining scholars of national and international distinction.
University faculty have consistently been active in the intellectual and practical life of the country. Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, by English professor E.D. Hirsch, has transformed the national debate about literacy and made it a subject of household conversation. Dr. Janine Jagger, an epidemiologist in the School of Medicine, was recognized for inventing a retractable safety needle to protect health care workers from such infectious diseases as hepatitis B and AIDS.
University faculty members have received many national and international awards. Four faculty members were made Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this year: Jerome J. McGann, the John Stewart Bryan Professor of English; Patricia M. Spacks, the Edgar E. Shannon Professor and chair of the English Department; E. Mavis Hetherington, the James M. Page Professor of Psychology; and G. Edward White, the John B. Minor Professor of Law. Hetherington was also named a William James Fellow by the American Psychological Association, and Spacks assumed the presidency of the Modern Language Association. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove is a distinguished member of the English department faculty. Dove is serving her second year as the nation's poet laureate, nominated in 1993 for the position by President Clinton. History Professor Edward L. Ayers's book, The Promise of the New South, published by Oxford University Press, was nominated in 1992 for a National Book Award.
Eleven University faculty members have received the prestigious Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists; 12 faculty members have received American Council of Learned Societies research awards in the past five years; 26 faculty members have been Fulbright Scholars in the past six years; 18 faculty members have been Guggenheim Fellows in the past seven years; six faculty members have been National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows in the past four years; and one was named a Fulbright Distinguished Fellow. Three faculty researchers have won Presidential Young Investigator awards since the program began in 1984; four researchers have won Sloan Foundation awards in the past five years; and three of the four recipients of Virginia's Outstanding Scientist Award have been University faculty since the program's beginning in 1985. A medical school faculty member received the Abraham Flexner Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Association of American Medical Colleges, and one has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow. An engineering faculty member was elected into the National Academy of Engineering. A physics professor was selected by the National Science Foundation as an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator and awarded $330,000 in research funds for three years. The Society of Women Engineers named a woman faculty member as the recipient of its most prestigious honor, the Achievement Award. The chair of the anesthesiology department was among new members elected to the National Institute of Medicine, a component of the National Academy of Sciences. The chair of the psychology department was elected this year as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Despite the demands of research and writing, University faculty are remarkably attentive to the needs of their students. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, faculty members serve as academic advisors. Professors routinely post office hours, and U.Va. students do not hesitate to use them. It's not unusual to encounter students clustered in the hall outside a professor's office, waiting for a chance to discuss papers or review classwork.
Four years at U.Va. prepares students well for becoming adults who are thinking, contributing members of society. Whether they go directly to a job (many do), teach English in Africa for the year, enroll in law or medical school (to which U.Va. students are accepted at well above the national average), or enter graduate school to pursue the scholarly life as a profession, their undergraduate years at Virginia provide the chance to explore subjects and ideas that will lay the foundation for their future careers and lives.
The overall success of Virginia's varsity teams in recent years can be matched by few schools in the country. Over the past six years alone, U.Va. has claimed five national championships in men's soccer and two in women's lacrosse. In 1993, Virginia became the first school in NCAA history to win three consecutive national men's soccer titles. Remarkably, the Cavaliers topped that achievement in 1994 by capturing their fourth national title in a row and fifth in six years.
The Virginia football team has made six bowl appearances in the last eight years. Most recently, the Cavaliers defeated Texas Christian University 20-10 in the 1994 Independence Bowl. In 1990, U.Va. climbed to number one in the regular season national polls (Associated Press and United Press International) and played Tennessee in the 1991 USF&G Sugar Bowl. The 1989 Cavaliers won a share of U.Va's first ever ACC championship and met Illinois in the 1990 Florida Citrus Bowl. Off the field, Virginia has been honored every year since 1984 by the College Football Association for its graduation rate involving scholarship football players.
The men's basketball team won a share of the ACC regular season championship in 1994-95 and advanced to the finals of the NCAA Midwest Region Tournament. It was Virginia's 17th postseason appearance in 18 seasons. UVa has won two National Invitation Tournament championships (in 1980 and 1992) and has reached the NCAA Final Four twice (in 1981 and 1984).
The women's basketball team won its fifth consecutive ACC regular season title in 1994-95 and advanced to the finals of the NCAA East Regional. It marked the Cavalier's 12th straight trip to NCAA postseason play. UVa reached the NCAA Final Four three consecutive years, from 1990-92. Virginia regularly wins its share of state, conference and national honors in many other sports as well. At the same time, U.Va. student-athletes graduate at a rate which is comparable to that of the University's entire student body.
The University's Bayly Museum's broad-ranging art collections include outstanding examples of twentieth-century American art and European art from Jefferson's era. The Bayly's growing permanent collections are supplemented by frequent visiting shows, the Fayerweather Gallery, which displays student and faculty art and other exhibits, and several private galleries in the city of Charlottesville.
Dramatic productions are presented year round by professional and local groups, including the highly acclaimed Heritage Repertory Theatre and the Virginia Players in the University's well-equipped drama and fine arts center. The theatre department regularly presents drama, musicals, and small workshop productions by students in the Culbreth and Helms theatres.
The library needs of the University's professional schools are served by the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, the Camp Library in the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, and the Arthur J. Morris Law Library.
The majority of the microcomputers, Macintoshes, workstations, printers and graphics equipment supported by ITC are located in public facilities throughout the Grounds for ease of student access. Software available for these systems includes programming languages as well as word processing, communications, mathematical, statistical and graphics packages.
High-speed interactive terminals access (telnet), file transfer (ftp) and electronic mail service are available from all systems, and access is provided to Internet. On-line information retrieval systems include a Grounds-Wide Information System, GWIS, based on the Gopher and WWW protocols; Library Information, VIRGO; and the University Directory, whois. Consulting, training, and documentation are available for all these services.
In the spring of 1989, the University became the first U.S. environmental research center of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). This nongovernmental research institute brings together scientists from more than 20 nations and a variety of disciplines to work jointly on problems of international significance, including the environment, population growth, technological risk, international negotiations, and food and agriculture.
New research instrumentation is being acquired continuously at a rate in excess of $10 million each year. In the past year, external support of research programs reached $135 million. The University is among the top one hundred public universities in competitively-awarded federal grants.
In addition, individual program specializations are accredited by such organizations as the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association, the National Athletic Training Association and the Council for Exceptional Children. The McIntire School of Commerce and the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration are accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business. The School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and the American Association of Law Schools. The engineering degree programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science are accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. The School of Nursing is accredited by the National League for Nursing and the Virginia State Board of Nursing. The chemistry and music programs in the College of Arts and Sciences are accredited by the American Chemical Society and the National Association of Schools of Music respectively. The M.D. degree in the School of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (representing the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and Executive Council of the Association of American Medical Colleges).