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Over 44 years, Leonard Sandridge worked his way through the administrative ranks while setting an extraordinary standard of excellence, integrity, service and commitment to the University. At the end of this academic year, he will step down from his position of executive vice president and chief operating officer.

There are many legendary stories about Leonard. From March 22-May 9, 2011 this site was open for those who wished to express their thanks or share a story. The submitted messages begin below.

Messages to Leonard Sandridge

Pam Roland | Monday Apr 4, 2011 11:23 pm

For as long as I've been on Grounds, back when I dated here in the 60's and later as a graduate student in the late 80's and now as faculty, I've always heard our founder respectfully refered to as "Mr. Jefferson"(and stories that he walks the Lawn at midnight).

Isn't it remarkable that so much of Mr. Jefferson's vision has become real by someone who walks among us and who only wants to be called Leonard?

Thank you, Leonard, for working so hard to help the University become what Mr. Jefferson must have had in mind. You embody all the virtures and values this University now stands for and you are leaving us a clear example to follow with your words, "Just do what's right."

And like Mr. Jefferson, you'll be spoken of with great respect and honor for many years to come and legends will follow you too. Thank you for all you have given so many of us, individually and collectively. We are all better people because you have walked among us and shown us how to be.

Diane Washington | Monday Apr 4, 2011 6:33 pm

Maya Angelou once quoted: I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Mr. Sandridge,

I attended a UVa Men's basketball game about 3 years ago. You were heading up the steps as I was walking down the steps -- we were mere strangers but I recognized you. I remember saying "Hi, Mr. Sandridge." As I now share my comments, I can still recall very vividly your warm return of the "Hello - how are you?" accompanied by a firm handshake like you were greeting someone that you knew. Today, at your celebration, I made it my goal to shake your hand and to congratulate you--- because of that first impression that you made upon me 3 years ago. Again, today, you returned my greeting as if you knew me. I can't begin to describe how that made me feel to have such an esteemed leader of this great University of Virginia greet me in such a manner. It is no wonder that there is a major road threading from 250 to JPJ named after you. What a deserving honor!!!

Best wishes for the next chapter of your journey!

Diane Washington

Gerald Fogarty | Monday Apr 4, 2011 6:24 pm

Dear Leonard:
I hve never had the pleasure of meeting you, but have admired what you have done for the university over the years. I attended the celebration today, but did have a chance to meet you to congratulate you personally, since you were surrounded by so many well-wishers. Ad multos annos!


Reba Camp | Monday Apr 4, 2011 2:16 pm

Your leadership at a difficult time for the Medical Center was inspiring to those of us who were working quietly behind the scenes. Knowing that you stood with us helped us stay focused on getting to the truth, learning from our mistakes and reaffirming our commitment to serve our patients and each other with integrity. Our small group never complained about the early and late hours, the short turnaround times for reports or anything else. How could we when you were working right along side us? Thank you for acknowledging that everyone who works here-- regardless of title, color of uniform or the nature of our work-- is here to serve our patients. Thank you for being the best role model we could ever hope to have.

Camilla Curnow | Monday Apr 4, 2011 11:16 am

Congratulations Mr. Sandridge! It says a lot for a person's impact on their workplace when their goodbye party has to be held in a basketball arena! :)
Camilla Curnow