1: University of Virginia

History | The University Grounds | The University Today | The Electronic University
The Faculty | Student Achievement | Athletics | University and Community Arts | The Honor System
The Libraries | Information Technology and Communication Computer Facilities
Research | Oak Ridge Associated Universities | Accreditation

History

The University of Virginia, on the verge of the twenty-first century, is a vigorous, modern institution, animated by the forward-looking spirit of its founder, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's powerful convictions -- the idea that the university exists to train young people for public affairs and the belief that the liberal arts constitute the foundation for any education -- continue to inspire its students and faculty and guide the development of its programs.

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.


Continue to: The University Grounds
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