The University of Virginia (often abbreviated as UVA or Virginia) is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It was conceived and designed by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson and established in 1819. UVA's initial Board of Visitors included former Presidents of the United States Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. The initial site of the University was farmland owned by Monroe, whose law office and farmhouse are now the site of Brown College at Monroe Hill, a residential college at UVA.
UVA is the only university in the United States to be designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Virginia as the 2nd best public university in the United States and the overall 25th best university in the nation. UVA athletes compete in 23 varsity sports within the Atlantic Coast Conference and finished third in the NACDA Directors' Cup rankings in 2010.
On January 18, 1800, Thomas Jefferson, the Vice President of the United States, alluded to plans for a new college in a letter written to British scientist Joseph Priestley: "We wish to establish in the upper country of Virginia, and more centrally for the State, a University on a plan so broad and liberal and modern, as to be worth patronizing with the public support, and be a temptation to the youth of other States to come and drink of the cup of knowledge and fraternize with us."
Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner became a writer-in-residence at the University in 1957, keeping open office hours until his death in 1962. He was also a lecturer at the school, and took the title of "Consultant on American Literature to the Alderman Library". Faulkner donated a large collection of his manuscripts and typesets (a request reaffirmed by his wife and daughter) to the library upon his death.
The Grounds (Campus)
Throughout its history, the University of Virginia has won praise for its unique Jeffersonian architecture. In January 1895, less than a year before the Great Rotunda Fire, The New York Times said that the design of the University of Virginia "was incomparably the most ambitious and monumental architectural project that had or has yet been conceived in this century". In the United States Bicentennial issue of their AIA Journal, the American Institute of Architects called it "the proudest achievement of American architecture in the past 200 years". Today, the University of Virginia remains an architectural landmark and popular tourist destination.
Modern Luminary Gatherings and Events
On June 10, 1940, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt came to the University's Memorial Gymnasium to watch his son Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. graduate, and to give the commencement address. Instead, "in this university founded by the first great American teacher of democracy" he made his impromptu "Stab in the Back" speech denouncing the act of Italy joining beside Nazi Germany to invade France on that day. (Graduation ceremonies are traditionally held on the Lawn, but rain had forced a move to "Mem Gym" for the Class of 1940.)
High Preference Among High Achievers
Admission to the University of Virginia is competitive, with 90.2% of admitted applicants ranking in the top 10% of their high school classes. A December 2005 National Bureau of Economic Research study of "high-achieving" undergraduate applicants found U.Va., at twentieth overall, to be the most preferred college located in the state of Virginia, and the second-most preferred in the American South, behind Duke University.
The study also revealed the University to be the most preferred public university in the entire United States. The stated purpose of the NBER study was to produce a ranking system that "would be difficult for a college to manipulate" by basing it on the actual demonstrated preferences of highly meritorious students.
The University of Virginia possesses a distinguished faculty, including a Nobel Laureate, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. poet laureate, 25 Guggenheim fellows, 26 Fulbright fellows, six National Endowment for the Humanities fellows, two Presidential Young Investigator Award winners, three Sloan award winners, three Packard Foundation Award winners, and a winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The University's faculty were particularly instrumental in the evolution of Internet networking and connectivity. Physics professor James McCarthy was the lead academic liaison to the government in the establishment of SURANET, and the University has also participated in ARPANET, Abilene, Internet2, and Lambda Rail. On March 19, 1986 the University's domain name, Virginia.edu, became the first registration under the .edu top-level domain originating from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The University of Virginia's athletics program competes in Division I (and the Football Bowl Subdivision for football), and has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1953. The current Athletic Director at Virginia is Craig Littlepage. The Virginia Cavaliers, also called "Wahoos" or "Hoos", have won 21 recognized national championships, 16 of them since 1980. Virginia has won multiple national titles in five different sports, including three men's sports (lacrosse, 7; soccer, 6; and boxing, 2) and two women's sports (lacrosse, 3; and cross country, 2).
Colleges and Schools
- School of Architecture
- College of Arts & Sciences
- Darden Graduate School of Business Administration
- McIntire School of Commerce
- School of Continuing and Professional Studies
- Curry School of Education
- School of Engineering and Applied Science
- School of Law
- School of Medicine
- School of Nursing
- Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
- College at Wise