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Commemorate the First 200

Envision the Next 200

Celebrate UVA

From Many Chapters, One Powerful Story

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The University of Virginia’s Bicentennial Commemoration is a celebration of UVA’s achievements, a recognition of the imperfections of its past, and a visualization of its future. The story began 200 years ago with the creation of a new model for higher learning, one shaped by the belief that only educated citizen-leaders would be capable of sustaining freedom in a new republic. From Thomas Jefferson’s original conception of the Academical Village, the story continued through the years, as UVA evolved from a regional institution of limited renown to one of the great national and global universities of the 21st century. At the University of Virginia today, we continue to pursue the goal that has inspired our community since its inception — forging the leaders of tomorrow through the sharing of knowledge and the candid exchange of ideas.

As we tell the UVA story at this milestone moment in its history, we renew our dedication to Thomas Jefferson’s belief in the “illimitable freedom of the human mind.” For 200 years, this commitment has energized our University community, and it will continue to animate life at UVA for centuries to come.

Join us as we collect our varied voices to tell the UVA story past, present, and future, through events and programs from 2017 to 2019.


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The University of Virginia has expanded its commitment to the Bicentennial Professors Fund to further strengthen efforts to attract and retain the best and the brightest faculty members across every discipline.

The project aims at capturing stories from 60 UVA voices ranging from professors to administrators to employees and community members. 

Some of the twists and turns of UVA history researched and written by Ernie Gates.

No University of Virginia retrospective would be complete without remembering some of the accomplished men and women who have shared these Grounds. We knew at the outset that narrowing down hundreds of thousands of alumni to a few pages would be nearly impossible; we’d have to omit countless individuals with achievements at least as remarkable. And that’s not even to mention those alumni who have flown under the radar—living quiet lives of great importance among their loved ones and communities. With all appropriate disclaimers then, and also an open invitation for you to add to our list, here’s a roundup of some of UVA’s foremost former students.

It began as a dream, the Academical Village, a revolutionary model of higher education for a country born of revolution. In this special issue of Virginia Magazine, we celebrate that dream come to life.