Date: January 24, 2014
To: Parents of Fourth-Year and Graduate Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Re: Final Exercises and Other Updates for UVa Parents
Although we are less than two weeks into the new semester, students seem to befully engaged innew classes and the many activities that mark the spring semester. Leadership changes within all the major student organizations will be taking place soon. Student elections will occur at the end of February, and soon thereafter current officers will pass the reins to their successors.
Student leadership takes many forms at UVa, and I hope your student has found a group or activity where she or he has been able to develop new skills, meet new people, and enjoy an experience that complements classroom learning. When taking their next step after UVa, whether it is a job or graduate school, students often find a direct application of the skills they developed as leaders or members of a student organization.
Other news that I hope you will find interesting and helpful:
Finals Weekend, May 17-18
This exciting milestone weekend has likely been on your calendar for some time now. Just a reminder: You can find complete details about ticketing, seating, and other aspects of the weekend at www.virginia.edu/finals.
A number of events take place throughout the weekend with several primary events that you will want to be sure to attend. They include:
- Valedictory Exercises, Saturday, May 17, 11 a.m. on the Lawn. This year’s speaker is football star Peyton Manning.
- The Class Party gets under way Saturday evening (from 9 p.m. to midnight) at Alumni Hall.
- Final Exercises begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday on the Lawn, followed by Diploma Ceremonies hosted by schools and departments at various locations on Grounds. Ray Mabus, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, will deliver the commencement address.
Graduation Services and Gifts
You should have recently received a mailing from the UVa Bookstore with information for students about caps and gowns as well as ordering personalized announcements and other custom gifts, such as Jefferson cups and diploma frames. The Class of 2014 Week will take place Monday, Feb. 3, through Friday, Feb. 7, so please remind your student to drop by the Bookstore (with University ID) to pick up the cap and gown. There will be another chance to do so just before Finals Weekend, but please encourage your student to come early and avoid the rush. The caps and gowns are provided at no charge. For more details about graduation supplies and merchandise, please see the UVa Bookstore website.
If you or family members still need lodging for the weekend, one option to consider is on-Grounds housing. Through UVa Conference Services, you can arrange to stay in comfortable, air-conditioned residence halls on Grounds. More information is available on the website.
Sunday Morning Breakfast — New This Year
UVa Dining will be serving an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet on Sunday, May 18, from 6 to 9 a.m. at the Observatory Hill Dining Hall. The buffet is open to anyone attending Final Exercises and the cost will be $5 per person.
After UVa: University Career Services Can Help Your Student
Spring is an important time for applications to jobs, gap-year experiences, and graduate programs. Depending on her or his interests, your student may decide to apply to many different types of experiences. Reaching out to University Career Services (UCS) is a good place to start for guidance on potential approaches and for help putting together appropriate resumes, cover letters, and other application materials. Students can explore careers after UVa by doing any (and all) of the following:
- Make a career counseling appointment to discuss career ideas and/or take career assessmentsat UCS.
- Contact UVa alumni for advice and information about life after UVa using the University Career Assistance Network through HoosOnline.
- Engage with employers at the Spring Job & Internship Fair (Jan. 29-30 at UVa) and Government & Nonprofit Career Expo (Feb. 21 at Georgetown University).
- Download a copy of the Hoos Career Guide to find networking strategies, resume guidance, and advice for negotiating interviews and job offers.
- Create search agents by location, industry, and more on CAVLink, UVa’s primary job database.
To get started accessing these programs and resources, have your student log on to MyUCS or call (434) 924-8900 to schedule an appointment with a career counselor.
The Flu is Here: Students Are Reminded to Take Precautions
January and February are peak times for influenza, and the Centers for Disease Control reported last week that the disease has now surpassed "the epidemic threshold for the first time this season." Just prior to returning for second semester, Dr. Christopher Holstege of Student Health sent students a message reminding them of steps to take to avoid the flu and what to do if they do become ill. He also encouraged students to get the flu shot if they have not already done so; it’s not too late, and Student Health still has a supply of the vaccine. (Read Dr. Holstege’s message.)
Spring Break: Planning Ahead
With Spring Break coming up in less than two months (March 8-16), students may not yet be focused on getting ready for a safe trip. Students who are planning to travel outside the U.S. will find Student Health’s International Travel Clinic a valuable resource for preparation. Immunizations, prescriptions, and general information are available through the clinic. Because of the high volume that the clinic sees in the month before Spring Break, students are encouraged to make appointments as soon as possible. More information about Spring Break safety will be covered in the next newsletter.
IFC Fraternities and ISC Sororities Hold Recruitment Activities
January brings a wave of activities for the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Inter-Sorority Council, both of which hold formal recruitment parties and events during this time. All 16 sororities that are part of ISC completed their recruitment period on Monday, Jan. 20, with new members accepting bids in the late afternoon. IFC began the recruitment process on Saturday, Jan. 18, and Bid Day takes place on Saturday, Feb. 1. Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL), part of the Office of the Dean of Students, provides support during the recruitment process and encourages safe practices during a time of excitement and celebration for both new and existing members. Over the past year, FSL has undertaken several activities in partnership with students to enhance education and prevention around hazing. A new website, ’Hoos Against Hazing, offers a number of resources for students, parents, and other members of the University community.
Two-Year Rotunda Renovation to Begin in Late May
University officials announced details last week about the upcoming renovation of the Rotunda, a historic undertaking that will involve major system upgrades and critical repairs to important features, such as the column capitals that are slowly deteriorating and have been encased in black netting since 2010.
The renovation will take two years and will necessitate closing the Rotunda from May of this year (following Final Exercises) through the spring of 2016. Because of the closure and the renovation's impact on the Lawn, it is certain that Final Exercises will be affected in some regard in 2015. Student leaders have formed a committee and have begun to explore creative new approaches for 2015 and possibly for 2016. Eric McDaniel, president of Student Council, outlined some of the challenges and opportunities in a message to the student body last week.
A website devoted to the Rotunda Renovation offers more details about the upcoming work, the structure's rich history, and its international prominence as a World Heritage Site.
Educational Tax Benefits
As the deadline approaches for filing your personal taxes, please remember federal educational tax benefits for which you may be eligible. Taking full advantage of these benefits would help reduce your higher education expenses. More information is available on the Internal Revenue Service website.
In closing, I would like to remind you that we are here to be of service to you and your student. Please do not hesitate to call on me or a member of my staff in Student Affairs if you have questions or concerns.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
March 8-16: Spring Break
April 29: Spring classes end
April 30, May 4 and 7: Reading Days
May 1-9: Exams
May 10: All residence halls close (noon)
May 17-18: Finals Weekend (Graduation). Check the website for up-to-date details.