Aug. ’17 Newsletter: The Digital 1828 Catalogue Collection

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One of Mr. Jefferson’s theories was that an easily accessible library should be one of the cornerstones of a democratic society, allowing citizens and scholars to conveniently access knowledge. The UVA Law Library is making that theory a reality. This past fall, the Law School’s Digital Collections Librarian, Loren Moulds, and Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities, James Ambuske, sought almost $30,000 in funding from the Jefferson Trust to complete a forty year goal of the UVA Law Library, digitizing 375 rare legal texts that were originally selected by Thomas Jefferson for the first UVA Library. The Digital 1828 Catalogue Collection Project will allow greater access to this esteemed collection by providing a virtual bookshelf for these texts. Throughout the summer, this student-centered project provided an opportunity for students to gain research experience in digital humanities, learn the history of early American law and legal education, and master the process of digitizing rare books.

To date, project directors and student interns have digitized more than 1/3 of the books and the entire collection will be digitized by the end of 2017. They are also in the final stages of developing the virtual web experience. Under the direction of Institute for Public History intern, Melissa Gismondi, student researchers also compiled and organized data about the collection, noting concepts and volumes worthy of further investigation in the future. Gismondi’s contributions were remarkably productive. She wrote several interpretive essays historicizing the University’s use of the books, including Jefferson’s view on the proper methods of using the books to educate students in reading the Law. She also contextualized the books’ intellectual place in the early republic.

The project directors are planning a conference in 2018, centered on Jefferson’s catalog for the University’s first library. The fully realized digital, virtual library project is planned for early 2018.


Aug. ’17 Newsletter: Trustee Spotlight – Grace Hobby Grundy

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All Jefferson Trust trustees are generous community leaders, but Grace Hobby Grundy (SEAS ’12) may have the most interesting volunteer affiliation of all—she’s a member of the Mutton Bustin’ Committee.  Grace serves on the Houston Rodeo’s Mutton Bustin’ Committee, which prepares 5 year olds to suit up for the ultimate Texan adrenaline rush—sheep riding! She is not only true to her native Texas, she is also true to the University.  As a fourth year, she served as a class trustee and just completed her fifth year of service as a post-grad class trustee.  As an active member of the Jefferson Trust since 2012, Grace has served on the Grants Committee and led the committee as Chair this past year.

Grace is connected to the University through her classmates, whom she describes as incredible change makers; she also shares family connections, as the daughter, sister, wife, cousin, niece and sister-in-law to fellow Hoos. She says that as a trustee her connections to the University have expanded. Now she is more than a member of the SEAS class of 2012 and more than a member of a family of alums. “Working as a trustee with other UVA alums and parents has brought me into every class and school within UVA. As a trustee, I am called back to the University repeatedly to hear from deans, professors and students. I see the power and drive within the University that I didn’t fully grasp as an undergrad.”

One of the highlights of being a trustee is that “The Trust has a front row view to what is happening at the University. We see applicants with projects in early stages that often have not yet been made public to the University community. As a trustee, I have a voice in my financial influence at the University.”  She notes, “The Trust allows trustees to stay connected to their donations, their schools and with fellow trustees.”  From Grace Hobby Grundy’s front row seat, she states that at the University of Virginia “Times are good and the future is bright!”

Aug. ’17 Newsletter: The Trust Welcomes New Alumni Association President & CEO, Jenifer Andrasko

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UVA Today spotlighted the new President of the Alumni Association, Jenifer Andrasko. You can read the article here.

Aug. ’17 Newsletter: Jefferson Trust Grant Information Session and Deadline

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Since 2006, the Jefferson Trust has awarded 160 grants totaling $6,309,119 to all areas of the University community. Founded by the Alumni Association of the University of Virginia, the Trust promotes excellence by providing catalytic support to the University community for initiatives in pursuit of Jeffersonian ideals. As an agile, unrestricted resource for the University of Virginia community, the Trust supports new projects advocated by students, faculty and organizations. Please note that the Trust does not provide budget relief for existing programs.

The Jefferson Trust will hold a grants application information session in the Manning Pavilion at Alumni Hall on Wednesday, September 6 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. For more information about the Trust and the application process, please check out the Application page on our website or contact us At 434-243-9026. For resources to navigate the application process, take a look at our Resources page.

Aug. ’17 Newsletter: We Need Your Help

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Gifts to the Jefferson Trust provide the early-stage funding for important, innovative projects like the ones described in our newsletter and on our website. On average, we only have the resources to provide grants to less than one-third of those deserving support. We ask that you consider making a gift to help us further develop this unique program of enormous impact to the University. There are many donation options available, including multi-year pledges, cash, gifts of stock/bonds, real estate or other personal property, and in some cases, planned or deferred gift vehicles.

All contributions to the Trust from alumni, parents, students and friends are counted as part of the University campaign, giving societies and class gifts, if made during the reunion year.

Donors who wish to make leadership gifts to the endowment and become members of the Board of Trustees have the additional opportunity to make the decisions on the use and strategic investment of endowment earnings. To become a part of this distinguished group of alumni and parents, please contact Kaye Forsman, Jefferson Trust Senior Director of Development at 434-243-8118 or Thank you!

May ’17 Newsletter: Jefferson Trust Announces 19 New Grant Awards

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Read the Cavalier Daily’s story on this year’s class of grant recipients, covering a wide array of innovative projects. Learn more here.

May ’17 Newsletter: Trustee Spotlight- Mike Riordan

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Simon Davis commercial portrait shoot by Lindsay J. C. Lack Copyright Office # 1-7415445

Trustee Mike Riordan is finishing up his sixth and final year with the Jefferson Trust. A Double Hoo, Mike was an Economics major who completed his undergraduate degree in 1996 and returned for his MBA from the Darden School in 2003. When reflecting on his decision to choose UVA, Mike said “Growing up in Pittsburgh…UVA wasn’t on the radar of many people [around me]. However, my father had attended law school at UVA in the early 1970s and so he introduced us to the school during a spring break trip one year. My sister and I both fell in love with the school and I was lucky enough to be able to get in early admission…so I didn’t really consider anywhere else seriously.”

Upon his return to UVA in 2003, Mike met his wife Elizabeth. He describes meeting Elizabeth as one of his fondest memories from his time at the University. “We were both in section A together first year [at Darden] and started dating our second year. We got married a couple years later. Ironically, she is also a Double Hoo, having been in the same 1996 graduating class. We didn’t know each other at the time,” said Mike.

Elizabeth and Mike have been longtime supporters of the University across various programs, but the Trust offered Mike a chance to be more directly involved than he had been since graduating. Discussing his experience with the Trust, Mike said, “I think the thing that was compelling to me at the time (and what is still very compelling about the Trust today) is both the ability to help decide where your money will go, as well as being involved on a very granular level with what’s going on at the school.  The scope of the grants that we consider, including the ones that may not ultimately be funded, provide amazing insight into what’s going on at one of the best universities in the world.  I can’t think of any other initiative or philanthropic endeavor that provides that level of exposure and insight into an organization as dynamic as UVA.”

For many years, Mike has served as the Chairman of the Trust’s Communications Committee, setting strategy for effectively communicating the message of the Trust to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University. “I came in at an interesting time when the Trust had been firmly established by the visionary folks who got it off the ground, but was really still in its formative stages. We have done a tremendous amount of governance and organizational work in the last six years, which I think has helped the Trust mature into the dynamic asset it has become for the University.  When I first started, we didn’t even have a [Communications] committee.  Our marketing and communications efforts were ad hoc and not particularly organized.  The work that Wayne, Kaye, Amy, Colleen, and Adib have done since then to help promote the Trust and educate the various stakeholders about the Trust is amazing to look back on, considering where we started.”

Mike recognizes a 2013 grant for President Sullivan’s Data Science Institute as one of the most impactful grants the Trust has provided the University. “That grant stands out from a couple of different perspectives. The first is that it was and is a very important initiative for the University and is one that will continue to pay dividends for years to come.  It perfectly fit the model we strive to achieve of providing seed money for something that can expand into a sustainable, impactful program.  The second reason it stands out was that this grant was relatively unique in terms of our grant cycle and process and showed that the Trust had matured to the point of being able to be a resource for key stakeholders across the University to help get big things done.”

Looking forward, Mike is most excited about the composition of the Board of Trustees. “It is an incredibly accomplished, thoughtful, and engaging group of people whom I have learned a great deal from and have enjoyed getting to know and count as good friends. The fact that the Trust continues to attract such high quality, generous individuals makes me very excited about the future of the Trust and what it can still develop into moving forward.”

Though we will miss having Mike on the Board, the Trust is incredibly grateful for Mike’s leadership and involvement over the years. The organization has enjoyed remarkable growth with Mike serving as Chair of the Communications Committee, and has a clear direction for continuing along that trajectory.

May ’17 Newsletter: The First Annual Jefferson Trust Daniel S. Adler Student Award: Poetry Slam Invitational

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Slam Poetry Receiving PlaqueUVA’s Flux Poetry & Spoken Word, a student-run CIO, received a Jefferson Trust grant this spring to take UVA’s first team to the 2017 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) in Chicago. Leading up to the national event, the Flux team held weekly workshops and practices throughout the academic year to prepare and select team members to represent the University.  The UVA contingent consisted of 5 poets, one coach and one assistant coach.

This year’s CUPSI boasted the largest number of competing teams, 78 in total, in the 15 year history of the Invitational. The UVA team did well, scoring the highest among the teams that were attending for the first time!

The team’s grant proposal caught the interest and imagination of the trustees during the annual review process, including Trustee Dan Adler, who selected this project as the very first Annual Jefferson Trust Daniel S. Adler Student Award. Mr. Adler serves as the project’s trustee mentor, an opportunity for additional interaction between the Trust and the project.

When establishing the award in 2016 through an additional donation, Adler said, “I have been inspired by the student grant requests these past five years, and so am excited to help enable students to bring their dreams to life, challenge them in leadership roles, and help then make a difference to the University and the Charlottesville community.”

May ’17 Newsletter: En De Liow: How Solar-Powered Cars Drive this Student

May ’17 Newsletter: Manning Pavilion Unveiled

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On April 22, Jefferson Trust Vice-Chair Ashley Manning unveiled the Manning Pavilion, a unique student meeting space at Alumni Hall.