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The University of Virginia Community

The University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, who outlined the institution’s purpose, designed its original buildings, supervised the construction, planned the curriculum and directed the recruitment of its first faculty. As the first Rector of the University, Mr. Jefferson presided over the school’s governing body, known as the Board of Visitors. James Madison and James Monroe were members of the Board of Visitors in the University’s early years. Mr. Jefferson designed what he referred to as his “academical village” to house teachers and students alike in four long rows of rooms, with larger components (“pavilions”) providing classrooms. The Rotunda, a half-scale version of the Pantheon, is the centerpiece of the historic Central Grounds. In 1976 the American Institute of Architects voted the Rotunda to be the outstanding achievement of American architecture. These historic buildings were named to the prestigious World Heritage List in 1988. When it opened for classes in 1825, the University of Virginia represented a dramatic innovation in American education. In an era when colleges trained students almost exclusively for teaching and the ministry, Thomas Jefferson dedicated his University to the education of leaders in practical affairs and public service.

The University offers 51 bachelor’s degrees in 47 fields, 84 master’s degrees in 67 fields, six educational specialist degrees, two first-professional degrees (law and medicine), and 57 doctoral degrees in 55 fields. The University’s 13 schools include the School of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, McIntire School of Commerce, Curry School of Education, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Law, School of Medicine, Basic Medical Sciences, School of Nursing, and School of Continuing & Professional Studies.

For the 2012-2013 academic year, total student enrollment was 21,095 students, consisting of 14,641 undergraduate students and 6,454 graduate and professional degree students. The undergraduate class consisted of 69% Virginia residents, with 42% living in university housing. Fifty-five percent identified as female and 45% as male. Approximately 12.3% of undergraduate students identified as Asian American, 6.5% African American, 5.5% Hispanic American, and 4% as multi-racial. UVa students came from 47 states and 121 countries in the fall of 2012. The University of Virginia is proud to have one of the highest African-American student graduation rates of any public university at 85.7%.

Teresa A. Sullivan, a leading scholar in labor force demography and former provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, took office as the University of Virginia's eighth president on August 1, 2010.

The University of Virginia is located in the city of Charlottesville in central Virginia, which, including surrounding Albemarle County, has a population of approximately 100,000. Charlottesville is located two hours from Washington, D.C. and one hour from the Richmond, Virginia’s state capitol.

Charlottesville is rich in cultural activities, including fine restaurants, an annual international film festival, and an array of musical and theatrical venues. The John Paul Jones area, completed in 2006 and home to the UVa basketball teams, also attracts many of the biggest acts in live entertainment, including Dave Matthews Band, The Police, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Lady Gaga, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Keith Urban, George Strait, The Dead, Phish, Jason Aldean, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The Charlottesville area is also replete with historically significant sites, such as Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, several civil war battle sites, and well-known colonial era sites such as Williamsburg and Jamestown. Charlottesville is also known for the beauty of the countryside, with the Blue Ridge Mountains one-half hour by car to the west.

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