Grants in the News

Catch up on Trust grants recently featured in the news:

The Black Economic Empowerment Society (BEES) received a Trust flash grant in 2023. They recently hosted a pop-up shop to highlight student-run and local black businesses. Learn more about the event and their organization in this Cavalier Daily article.

Starr Hill Pathways students participate in the Nursing pathway. Photo credit: Dan Addison

In 2022 the Equity Center received a $150,000 Trust grant to support the Starr Hill Pathways Program. Read about their continued growth and impact in the community in this University Advancement feature.

A team of UVA School of Education Professors is working to provide open access to high-quality, peer-reviewed educational resources, while developing a CAD library. Check out more about this 2023 grant project and their ongoing work in UVA Today.

In 2023 the Co-Circular Plastics Initiative received a Trust grant. They recently held a symposium to discuss the use and reuse of plastics and sustainability. Read this UVA Today feature to learn more about our relationship with plastics.

Check out {in}Visible Magazine’s most recent issue. A 2023 flash grant recipient, {in}Visible is dedicated to exploring and sharing unique experiences through writing and art for the Asian Pacific Islander South Asian American (APISAA) community on Grounds.

Follow the Trust on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date on grant news.

Funding University Priorities — Entrepreneurship

Students participate in the BEES Black Student Business Expo.

This article is the first in a series on Trust grants that directly support University priorities.

Each Trust grant funds a new idea. Some of these ideas are in areas of particular importance to the University President or Provost. ‘University priorities’ are not permanent but rather time-bound areas of focus where administrators put additional resources toward advancing UVA. Trust support can play a unique role in jumpstarting a project or program toward having an immediate impact.

Entrepreneurship is a current University priority and one that the Trust has supported often.

Entrepreneurship at UVA has many homes. There are multiple centers, incubators, programs, competitions, and courses across different schools and units. Each avenue has a different audience.

In October 2023, the University announced its new Entrepreneurship Initiative, designed to bring cohesion to the various efforts, support them, and enhance them.

As is often the case, the Trust was out in front. In June 2022, Jefferson Trust board member, Lars Norell, Law ’98 and his family gave $100,000 to the Trust to support entrepreneurial programming.  These funds were allocated outside the normal grant cycles to immediately support projects such as:

  • the Virginia Venture Fund’s National Undergraduate Venture Cup, which brought Reddit founder, Alexis Ohanian, Com. ‘05 to Grounds to speak to students;
  • the pan-University E-Cup program;
  • and the creation of a mobile app for entrepreneurs across Grounds to connect and share ideas, developed by the Batten Institute.

In the past two years alone, through our Annual and Flash Funding cycles, the Trust has funded several projects that directly impact the entrepreneurship effort, such as:

  • Changemaker Bootcamp, a week-long, experiential program in social entrepreneurship for undergraduates;
  • Entrepreneurship for All, a UVA faculty led high school program for youth from historically marginalized communities to create their own ventures and social enterprises;
  • Darden Emerging Markets Conference, designed to bring thought leaders, professionals, academicians, and students together to discuss emerging markets in a post-COVID world;
  • Black Economic Empowerment Society, designed to increase financial literacy, emphasize the importance of asset ownership, and empower Black UVA students to start businesses;
  • and, the Virginia Undergraduate Investment Conference (VUIC), which provided hands-on experience in equity analysis and investment for students.

Beyond this direct support, the Trust is committed to being part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Grounds, funding ideas and fostering innovation that will make UVA an event better place.

Break the Mold: Annual Cycle is Open

New. Radical. Novel. Fun. These are some of the adjectives that describe the ideas we fund. Our 2024–25 Annual Cycle is open, and we are looking for ideas that will break the mold and chart an exciting path forward. If you have an idea that will advance UVA or enrich the student experience, we’d love to hear it.

Review the grant seekers section of our webpage and if you think your project or program might be a good fit, contact Amy, our Director of Grants at