The End of an Era: Wayne Cozart set to Retire

Wayne Cozart, shown here shaking hands with a grant recipient, retires leaving a rich legacy with the Jefferson Trust.

For over 40 years, alumni have entered Alumni Hall and seen a smiling, familiar face. Since the 1980s, students have seen him walking across the Lawn and welcoming them into one of the three Pavilions he has called home. Wayne Cozart is a fixture of the UVA and alumni communities, always sporting an orange and blue tie. Alongside his wife, Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Lampkin, Wayne’s introductions to undergraduate students have transformed into decades-long relationships.

For him, the student experience and alumni experience are part of one seamless relationship and reflect his appreciation for the unique character of UVA men and women. He fell in love with the concept of student self-governance in his early days at the University. When he moved to Alumni Hall, it was only fitting he extended this concept into “alumni self-governance.” Wayne’s belief in the individual and their abilities, combined with his belief in what is possible for UVA, made him the ideal person to lead the Jefferson Trust for the past eleven years.

At the end of 2020, Wayne will retire from the Trust, leaving a legacy of impact and advancement.

One of the Trust’s original trustees, Sharon Owlett, who rejoined the board after her original term ended, has seen the organization transform under Wayne’s leadership. She remarked, “All of us know what a memorable working relationship looks and feels like: your visions sync, you build on each other’s strategies, you solve each other’s problems, you even share the same sense of humor. What you create is always something in which to take pride in. Those of us lucky enough to work with Wayne throughout his tenure on the Trust have had the gift of that kind of relationship with him. The Trust as it stands today is a testament to his ability to bond with a disparate, diverse group of people to weave us all together to build something great.”

Building synergy and community is what has helped make the trustee experience so unique. These elements are a core part of Wayne’s leadership style and have had a direct impact on the fund’s successes.

Reflecting on his tenure, Wayne notes, “During my time leading the Jefferson Trust, it has transitioned from a brilliant idea by the Alumni Association into a flourishing endowment with assets of $36 million.  Thanks to the commitment and philanthropy of the Trustees, the Trust has been able to have a major impact on the lives of students and faculty.”

Both the Trust’s endowment and annual grant amount have more than doubled during Wayne’s tenure.  His stewardship, mentorship and friendship have positioned the organization toward continued success.

When asked to reflect on his time at the helm, Wayne instead opines on what’s possible for the organization moving forward: the grants, gifts and global impact he knows will shape the University. He says, “In the future, the entrepreneurial spirit of the Trust will take the University of Virginia to new heights further enhancing the Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a great university.”

It is a process, culture and vision we can all rally behind, and a challenge we humbly accept.

A Big Ask: Grant Requests Set New Record

Line chart showing the annual grant cycle dollars requested since 2015. The 2021 amount sets a record high.

Thank you, UVA students, faculty and staff: the Jefferson Trust received 57 proposals this year, seeking a total of $4 million in our annual grants cycle for the first time in the history of the Trust! Submissions span a wide range of topics, including diversity and inclusion efforts, outreach to our local community, and improving teaching and learning for UVA students in the midst of COVID, as well as several creative student endeavors. Our Trustees are now reading and reviewing the ideas that will enhance and expand the University. The Trust will make awards totaling $1 million this year — which means tough decisions ahead for our Trustees!

If you missed the annual cycle deadline, Flash Funding applications will open in January 2021. Flash funding awards grants of $10,000 or less for more immediate use. All proposals submitted in a month will have a decision made on the 15th of the following month. Funding is available monthly until funds are depleted. See our Apply page and Facebook for more information when the application opens.

As always, we are available to answer any questions or meet to discuss your potential project. Contact our Grants Administrator, Amy Bonner, at

Carrying on Despite COVID

Emily Beyer (Engr ’22) conducts research for the Jefferson Trust grant “Guiding Student Research of Air-filtering Technologies.”

This spring, the world as we know it was upended. Workplaces shuttered, students were sent home, and for many, life came to a screeching halt. As the University community worked to adapt and find the best course forward, the Jefferson Trust was determined to support our grant recipients.

The first step was to affirm our continued support as programs and events were canceled, rescheduled or restructured. The majority of grant recipients are students or faculty, who were simultaneously adapting to the new academic landscape, and the Trust’s goal was to ensure that they could focus on primary responsibilities without detriment to their grant funding.

We began to hear from recipients.

  • The Virginia Motorsports Team reported that with students unable to gather, their work on the SAE car had been halted. They requested an extension to delay their participation in the annual SAE race until 2021.
  • A student documentary was delayed as in-person interviews were cancelled and moved virtual.
  • A project that involved a partnership with local elementary school teachers was delayed for a year in anticipation of a more-stressful-than-normal school year ahead.

Some updates were positive!

  • Several groups were able to transition their original events to virtual events. The Alumni Association’s Retold project was one — Trust funds were reallocated to launch the virtual platform.
  • A graduate student conference originally scheduled for April was postponed until October, and in October it went fully virtual.
  • A project aimed at capturing oral histories of alumni of the 1960s and 1970s pivoted when Reunions was cancelled, as the team planned to record the interviews that weekend. However, they were able to reallocate the production-related costs to provide student interns with stipends in order to conduct the interviews via Zoom over the summer.
  • A project funded in February to allow a small group of students to investigate various approaches to modeling COVID saw a dramatic increase in student interest and expanded their original plan to include more than double the student and faculty participants.
  • A research project set to investigate air-filtering technologies to fight air pollution turned into a rapid-response effort in utilizing those same technologies for PPE alternatives against COVID.

And this is just a sampling! Across the board, our resilient grant recipient community was able to dig in and move forward in these unusual circumstances. We want to congratulate all of our grant recipients and their teams on their masterful adaptations and their determination to carry forward in the safest way possible.

Design + Med Ed

Medical Students work to create solutions to challenges observed as a part of UVA’s Medical Design Program.

Design thinking, also known as human-centered design, is a problem-solving framework for addressing complex, system-based challenges. UVA is at the forefront of a growing group of medical schools and health systems exploring how design thinking can be integrated into medical education. Students engage in hands-on ‘design sprint’ workshops focused on priority healthcare issues, using data they collect through direct engagement with patients, healthcare leaders and community members. The UVA Medical Design Program (UVAMDP) gives future physicians the skills, confidence and experience they need to help address complex patient care and public health challenges throughout their careers.

The program was created in 2015, focusing on instruction to first-year medical students. However, due to continued growth and demand, UVAMDP received a second Jefferson Trust grant in 2019 to help expand access to ‘health design thinking’ curriculum and workshops. Funds went towards developing credit courses and electives for medical students throughout their time at UVA and to develop online versions of program workshops that can be shared as research within and outside of the UVA School of Medicine.

The Medical Design Program has become an established and valued part of the medical education culture and offerings at UVA, such that prospective students are consistently inquiring about the program. Medical design lectures are being integrated throughout the school’s curriculum, both in workshops to the entire second-year class and in a new elective for fourth-year students approved by the school’s curriculum committee, with the first course being offered in February 2021.

In addition, and most relevant to 2020, the Medical Design Program team was able to quickly assist in the School of Medicine’s response to COVID-impacted students by quickly developing and deploying virtual five-day design sprint workshops for third- and fourth-year students who were not allowed onto clinical wards, but needed to continue their studies. While their project has been delayed due to the demands of adapting to COVID-19, the pandemic has also helped the team think critically on the types of flipped classrooms and online learning curriculum that will be most useful as long-term educational offerings for students.

Not only is the program impacting medical students and faculty, it is also providing a center for multi-disciplinary collaboration focused on improving public health and healthcare through design thinking and other design approaches. Faculty engagements with the Medical Design Program are from across Grounds, including Architecture, Engineering, Nursing, Darden and the College.

The Medical Design Thinking Team, led by Dr. Matthew Trowbridge, has been nationally recognized for their work, publishing peer review articles, contributing to a recently published ‘Health Design Thinking’ textbook, and speaking widely about their work and impact at UVA. You can visit their website to learn more.

Jefferson Trust 2019-20 Annual Report

Snippet of cover of the 2019-20 Annual Report

This has been an exceptional year for the Jefferson Trust as you can see in our 2019–20 Annual Report. Our Flash Funding cycle has proven successful and the Trustees have voted to make it a permanent fixture of our grant-making. This was a year of crisis with COVID-19, and the Trustees responded by giving an out of cycle emergency grant to President Ryan to aide in the University’s response. All told, for the first time, the Trustees awarded over $1 million in grants, which will further President Ryan’s strategic plan and impact on the UVA Community.

The seeds of funding trustees sowed several years ago are blossoming into significant, important fixtures of University life. To date, the Jefferson Trust has granted more than $8.9 million to 227 different projects covering a broad range of schools and programs, resulting in strengthening the quality of education, as well as Virginia’s national and global reputation.

We are excited to share the continued growth and impact of the Trust on Grounds and beyond! The trustees eagerly await the next great idea.

2020-21 Annual Cycle Application Now Open!

We fund great ideas from students, faculty, and staff

Whether you’re on Grounds or virtual this semester, the Jefferson Trust Annual Cycle application is open for the 2020-21 academic year! Learn more.

All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on October 1. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions in February 2021.

To learn more about what the Trust funds, join one of our Virtual Info Sessions on Zoom:

Please contact our Grants Administrator, Amy Bonner, with questions or to schedule a one-on-one appointment about your project.

Flash Funding, which awards grants of $10,000 or less, will be available in the spring semester starting in January 2021. Check our website or Facebook page in December for more information when the application opens.

Have a Great Idea? Read This!


Jefferson Trust award recipients

Interested in applying for a grant, but not sure where to start? Here are insights on the application process, including some tips from Elgin Cleckley, assistant professor in the School of Architecture and a grant recipient with multiple successful submissions to the Trust over several years.

Before submitting a proposal

  • Research! Use the guidelines and additional information provided to determine whether your great idea aligns with the mission of the Jefferson Trust.
  • Use the application to help frame your idea:

“I found the goals of the Trust, creativity, innovation, leadership, and University and/or student experience, as excellent guides when developing ideas for the application. These four points became a rubric — beneficial in discussions in collaborations, evaluation, and testing of the grant ideas, helping to guide the development of program goals and narrative.”

  • Refine your vision:

“A clear, easy to understand narrative is essential — with University, student, and community impacts.

For example, for the Minority Pipeline Architecture Program with Barbara Brown Wilson and the School of Architecture, we were sure to focus on the data of African American students in the field, the established national program through the National Organization of Minority Architects, and details on the adaptation of the project here in Charlottesville.

We were sure to include the leadership roles for students at the School of Architecture, empathic, established connections with community organizations, and above all, lifelong skill building for our local Charlottesville design participants.

The impacts are evident, as the engagement continues this summer online with the UVA Equity Center, with students from the past program.”

  • Reach out. Jefferson Trust staff is here to help — if you have questions, contact us!

During the review process:

  • Be prepared to answer follow-up questions. Trustees may ask for clarifications by email or during presentations to the board.
  • Know your audience. The individuals who comprise the review board span a broad range of industries and life experiences and may or may not be experts in your subject matter.

“It is important to also think of the diversity of the Trust — ensuring that your idea/program is inclusive in its content, guiding your presentation at the interview.

We were sure to bring physical imagery to the interviews, to clarify any points of our idea, and overall, to create excitement.”


  • Keep in touch with the Trust. Let us know how things are going, and what we can do to help.

“It’s helpful for recipients to know of the support network of the Trust, advisors, and recipients. This support network allows for further expansion of your idea / program and provides beneficial guidance during development.”

Above all, the Trust wants its grants to be successful. Many of the most common problems can easily be resolved by reaching out — whether it is a question on how to convey an idea within the proposal, how to address an obstacle during implementation of the program, or how to scale up and manage success.

The Jefferson Trust network includes our highly engaged Trustees, well-connected former grant recipients, and University supporters. Come join us!

Hoos Connected: from Pilot to Full-scale Program

Hoos Connected

Hoos Connected is a University-wide campaign created to help UVA students build cohesive and supportive peer connections. The relationship-building is fostered by students meeting in small groups over the course of 12 weeks. It includes discussing and evaluating barriers to connection, establishing trust, and recognizing shared human experiences. Hoos Connected encourages creativity by asking students to step outside their comfort zone and engage honestly with others who are different from themselves. The program extends beyond the concept of “safe spaces” and creates brave spaces where students can learn to negotiate difference and more candidly share experiences of challenge and hope.

Dr. Nicole Ruzek and Dr. Joseph Allen received funding from the Trust in 2018 to help launch the program, which included bringing guest speakers to Grounds, aiding in marketing outreach efforts, and bringing on graduate assistants and student workers to help in the program launch and accompanying research. In its first semester, the program started as a cohort of 35 first-year students participating in 4 small groups. Impact was felt immediately and continues to grow each semester. The program’s success has also established the need to offer the program to transfer students and in the residential colleges.

With its proof of concept and early successes, Hoos Connected received additional funding from the Office of Student Affairs in early 2020 to expand staffing and capacity and a grant from the President &x Provost’s fund to further the program. “Both of these grants were leveraged based on the existing work funded by the Jefferson Trust; hence the Trust was instrumental in bringing in this higher level of funding and in dramatically expanding the scope of work being performed,” shared Ruzek. This funding will help scale the low-cost, high-impact program to the wider student body, reducing the issues students face surrounding mental health and social pressures.

Hoos Connected is just one of several projects funded by the Trust that have gone on to receive additional and sustaining grants from the President’s or Provost’s Offices. Ignite, USOAR and the Arts Mentors Program are other initiatives that have continued to grow and expand due to additional funding sources on Grounds, becoming an integral part of the UVA student experience and enhancing the University community.

The trustees eagerly await the next great idea.

Investing Beyond Tuition

The Burgoyne family

Even during a pandemic, the fall semester brings enthusiasm from new and returning students. The fall is also a time for parents, the unsung heroes of the collegiate process. They provide their fledgling college students with moral support, advice, and often to their chagrin, credit card access. Some parents elect to take this challenge a step further: they become trustees, doubling down on their investment in the student experience.

Twenty-three of the 71 trustees are parents to current students or have a child who is an alumnus.

For the parents of current students, being trustees gives them insight to the UVA community and makes them part of the University’s life. They learn more about their child’s professors and about what student groups are doing, and they help shape the student experience by voting on new grants.

The Clark family

Jon Clark (College ’81) and his wife, Terri Clark (Parent ’16, ’22) are the parents of two Wahoos. Their daughter, Devon, finished in 2016 and their son, Jack, is a third year.

Terri, who is not an alumna, has been just as involved in the Trust as Jon. She believes strongly in the unique value the Trust adds to the University community, stating, “I feel lucky to be able to participate in such a unique investment vehicle at The University of Virginia. The Jefferson Trust relies on each trustee to use their varied skills to vet, select, award and advise grantees on initiatives that will benefit the UVA community.”

The Trust also brings Jon and Terri closer to UVA, and to their son’s new home. “It’s especially fun to be a trustee while my son is attending the University. The Trust gives my husband and me, currently Arizona residents, an excuse to visit once a quarter. And while my son may feel we see him more than he had ever envisioned, he is always eager to meet the other trustees at events.”

Jim Taylor (Com ’88, Law ’94) has been a trustee since 2016, when his daughter Gracie became a first year. “I love the experience of connecting with current students and faculty and seeing the innovative grant requests. It’s a wonderful way to be part of the university community,” he says.

Most of the trustees who are parents of alumni are alumni themselves and being on the Trust is a chance to reconnect to the family’s school. However, for trustees such as Jim and Erin Burgoyne who did not attend UVA, being part of the Trust has provided an opportunity to give back to the school that helped shape their son, a 2016 graduate. Speaking of the experience, they believe he “benefited from the University of Virginia’s strong academic credentials and core principles of honor and integrity.”

In joining the Jefferson Trust, the Burgoynes say they found “a focused and hands-on opportunity to contribute to the student experience and help the University of Virginia continue developing citizen leaders.”

This sentiment of ‘developing citizen leaders’ truly befits the Trust’s namesake and is a testament to all the trustees — alumni, parents and friends — who continue Jefferson’s charge over 200 years later.