Founding of the University
University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by the nations third President and Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson. He considered this one of his greatest achievements, and this is after having a career where he was a political leader, write, inventor, architect and revolutionary. This lends to how he wanted this University to produce leader in practical affairs and public service and he opposed the granting of degrees as he felt as they were “artificial embellishments”. By 1899 the standard undergraduate degree became a prerequisite for the master’s degree which brought the University into conformity with all other institutes of higher learning.
A Look at UVA Now
In 2009, US News ranked the University of Virginia No. 2 best public university in the nation and continues to rank in the Top 20 among the best of all national universities, including both public and private. The University has undergone numerous expansions to facilitate the growing student body with increased interest in various courses. The Carl Smith Center gave the university increased success over the years in sports such as basketball, football, baseball, tennis among other sports, where they are known by fans and rivals alike as the Virginia Cavaliers. The Cavaliers compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference and have won 63 ACC titles since 2002, which is the most in the conference. UNESCO gave UVA a special recognition when the Monticello, which was Thomas Jefferson’s plantation home and the heart of the university and the University campus itself were placed on the World Heritage List, which also includes The Great Wall of China, Tower of London and Taj Mahal.
Famous UVA alumni
- Tina Fey – award-winning actress and producer
- Robert F. Kennedy – Former U.S Senator and Attorney General
- Ted Kennedy – Former U.S. Senator
- Katie Couric – World Renowned Journalist
- Steve Huffman & Alexis Ohanian – Founders of Reddit
- Woodrow Wilson – 28th President of the United States
- Karl Shapiro – Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet
- Claudio Reyna – Former U.S. soccer team captain