Jefferson Trust Announces $700,000 in Grants to Help Foster Community

2018 Grant Recipients

From enriching socioeconomic diversity on Grounds to strengthening relationships between student groups here, Jefferson Trust grants are once again set to encourage creativity, innovation, leadership, community and an enhanced student experience.

The Jefferson Trust, an initiative of the University of Virginia Alumni Association, awarded 19 new grants totaling $700,000 on Friday, April 13, on the South steps of the Rotunda. Once again, student organizations made a strong showing this year, garnering 8 of the grants and securing more than $109,000 in funding.

Many of the grants this year sought to strengthen communities, whether it was Hoos First Look, which brings socioeconomically disadvantaged high school juniors to Grounds in order to enhance socioeconomic diversity here, or the Queer Student Union Community Partnership program, which seeks to foster positive relationships throughout the University. Amy Bonner, Associate Director of the Jefferson Trust, said, “One trend the Trustees saw in this year’s pool of proposals was an interest in community-building—student groups seeking to work more closely with other groups to break down barriers, faculty focused on positive interactions for students, even two groups seeking to improve diversity at the University. Many of those were projects chosen for funding this year. The Trustees are always interested in making a positive, and broad-reaching, impact at the University and specifically to students.”

Established by the Alumni Association in 2006, the Jefferson Trust has invested in 179 initiatives, representing over $7 million, brought forth by students and faculty representing all 11 schools and a myriad of programs and organizations at UVA. With grant awards ranging from as little as $2,500 to as much as $100,000, all of these seed-funded projects add exceptional value to the UVA experience. Many evolve to become a permanent part of the fabric of the University’s life and legacy.

The 2018 grants include:

Science Delivered: $19,000. The program brings scientists from UVA straight into the classroom to provide engaging, hands-on science enrichment for local students in grades K-6.

UVA Financial Education and Wellness Program: $57,900. Student Financial Services is expanding the University’s financial literacy efforts, developing relationships, conducting programming and research, and sharing resources with offices such as the Dean of Students, the Career Center, and the Office of African American Affairs.

UVA-SWO Partnership for Rangeland Ecology Research and Education: $67,800. This project combines environmental sciences research, educational exchange, and community health, within the context of a rangeland ecology/bison grazing experiment on the Lake Traverse Reservation in northeastern South Dakota.

Student Flourishing Initiative-Platform Development: $100,000. The Student Flourishing Portal is a digital platform of vast and diverse content, exploring student flourishing in theory and practice to support curricular, co-curricular, and research activities enhancing student lives, skills, experiences, and wellbeing.

Presswork: A Program for Hands-on Historical Printing & Research: $69,865. The project will establish a permanent printing lab and exhibition space in UVA’s Harrison Institute, where visitors and students alike would engage in hands-on printing activities, as well as learn about a range of printing processes—from technologies integral to Thomas Jefferson’s work to modern-day 3-D printing.

A Virtual Exploration of Central Grounds Through Time and Space: $35,100. This program will use Geographic Information System and Virtual Reality technologies to reference, spatially and temporally, all the relevant documents, images, photos, and models from many different efforts to create an engaging learning environment for future generations.

QSU Community Partnership Program: $6,000. A 2-year plan to foster an extended and positive relationship with fellow community groups by holding a series of networking programs with African-American, Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Military communities; as well as with the Honor Committee and the University Guide Service.

Hoos First Look: $10,479. UVA’s first ever fly-in program aimed at bringing socioeconomically disadvantaged juniors in high school to Grounds, with the mission of increasing socioeconomic diversity at the University, and encourage undergraduate students to foster a more inclusive community on Grounds through active participation in the program.

Virginia Women’s Chorus Bicentennial Commission: $8,000. Funding allows the Virginia Women’s Chorus to commission a piece of original choral music composed by renowned composer Ola Gjeilo that will simultaneously celebrate the University’s Bicentennial and the history of women at the University.

Civil War Era Charlottesville: $26,400. Funding will support a pair of new digital projects examining the lives of University of Virginia students and African-American men from Albemarle County who served in the Union army or navy, including creation of a website dedicated to telling the stories of UVA Unionists.

Words on paper: art to engage science and policy: $38,923. This new class, melding experiment with performance art, will bridge the divide between arts and science, reflection and action, UVA and the world off Grounds.

Profit with Purpose: $4,000. Profit with Purpose educates, connects, and empowers students to think about investing differently through workshops, building relationships, and providing experiences.

TRANSFERmational Project: $15,300. This initiative creates a disciplined approach for the support of transfer students to the University of Virginia.

Strategies of Interpretation II: Highland: $17,837. The program for a course and accompanying public lecture series will create the opportunity for the University and Charlottesville community to interrogate further the issues of historical interpretation and its public presentation.

Hoos Connected: $39,000. Hoos Connected is a University-wide campaign designed to help UVA students build cohesive and supportive peer connections that demonstrate the value of forming deep, caring relationships with others who are different from themselves.

Language Forward Initiative: $50,770. A real-time immersive online program that aims to expand opportunities for UVA students to interact with native speakers.

The Ridley Scholars Outreach Video: $10,000. The Ridley Scholars will produce an outreach video during the 2018 calendar year that will target prospective African-American students and is estimated to impact 20,000 prospective students and their families.

The Jefferson Trust Daniel S. Adler Student Award

The Human Library: $36,626. Striving to tackle stereotypes and prejudice through conversation, the Human Library allows individuals to share the unique story embedded in the threads of their lives and bridges the gap between the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville community.

The Jefferson Trust Global Initiatives Award

Community Resilience & Global Engagement: Disaster Preparedness in Nursing: $87,000. Within a global context of increasing need for community resilience post-disaster, this program wraps student educational and research experiences around sustained UVA faculty research with long-term community partners in Bluefields, Nicaragua.

IM Rec Award Winners: Virginia Women’s Club Lacrosse Team and Quidditch at the University of Virginia

Each spring, The Jefferson Trust awards two $2,500 Intramural-Recreational Awards to club athletic teams that excel in the areas of commitment, leadership and service to the community. This year, the Virginia Women’s Club Lacrosse Team and Quidditch at the University of Virginia were recipients.

The Virginia Women’s Club Lacrosse Team is comprised of 30 members, representing a variety of areas of study in the McIntire School, Nursing, Engineering, Curry School, and various majors in The College. The Club meets for practice 4 times a week and travels to tournaments 1-2 weekends each month. Organization, timeliness, and communication are necessary attributes to keeping all 30 members on track for success both on and off the field.

Virginia Women’s Club Lacrosse has grown extremely well over the past two years: from an 8-7 record in 2016 to a 13-5 record (including a WCLA National Championship bid) in 2017. In RPI rankings, the team jumped from 22nd in the country to 12th in just one year, and currently place 8th out of 82 WCLA Division-1 programs. Most recently, they went 3-1 at the 2018 Santa Barbara Shootout. Some of the Club Lacrosse Team’s off field involvements include coaching local youth teams, participating in the One Love Foundation, Lacrosse the Nation, Camp Kesem, donation collections to Heal C’ville Fund and One Goal. 23 of the club team members are also active in their respective sororities community service and events as well.

As the club lacrosse team strives to continue to strengthen the program, it is essential they play the most competitive teams on the highest (and farthest) stages. They are very grateful for the Jefferson Trust Award to help them achieve this. Currently the team is ranked #7 in the nation (2nd in their region) and has received an at large bid to the National Championship in Round Rock, TX in May.

Founded in 2011, Quidditch at the University of Virginia is looking to have a season of unparalleled success this year. Their record has improved to 29-4, compared to a 13-11 record in 2016-17 school year. These wins have come from tournaments in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, where the club earned second place among nineteen teams. This semester the team has gone undefeated, winning three tournaments while beating rivals such as Duke, Virginia Tech, and UNC. These successes have solidified the Quidditch Club as the fourth ranked team in the nation, making their fourth consecutive appearance at the US Quidditch Cup in Round Rock, TX in late April. At the Quidditch Cup, the team went 4-2, reaching the sweet sixteen round.

The entire Quidditch Club is comprised of two teams: the competition-oriented A team, who will represent UVA at the US Quidditch Cup, and the B team, creating an inclusive environment for students who want to play quidditch, but have tight schedules, or are looking for fun ways to exercise and meet new friends. A fun side to playing quidditch so closely intertwined with a worldwide acclaimed book is getting to share the hobby with others. Quidditch Club at UVA continues their “kidditch” program at a local elementary school in the fall, giving quidditch demonstrations at a “Wizards in the Woods” event in the summer, and the club has been invited to open a game for Minor League Baseball’s Richmond Flying Squirrels. Quidditch at UVA takes great pride in representing the University of Virginia at community events, in their competitions, and educating more people as interest in the sport continues to grow!

Community Resilience & Global Engagement: Disaster Preparedness in Nursing

The program aims to prepare the next generation of nursing students to participate in global health and citizenship in an equitable, respectful and meaningful way. Within a global context of increasing need for community resilience post disaster, this innovative project wraps student educational and research experiences around sustained UVA faculty research with long-term community partners in Bluefields, Nicaragua. Groups of UVA students and faculty and groups of partner students and faculty from Nicaragua will participate in bidirectional exchange throughout the year in order to actively participate in ongoing research and community health projects related to community resilience post disaster. This mutual engagement, underpinned with a spirit of cultural humility will be transformative for all student and faculty participants.

The Human Library

The Human Library, Charlottesville developed from an initiative out of Copenhagen, striving to tackle stereotypes and prejudice through conversation. It represents a safe space for expression of the innermost, genuine parts of ourselves, a place where vastly different lives can intersect and ignite challenging yet much-needed conversations. We all have a unique story embedded in the threads of our lives, and The Human Library aims to find people to share those incredible stories so that we as a society can work to dismantle stereotypes and prejudices. In this way, The Human Library serves as a place of solace for individuals who feel isolated, overlooked, or unimportant; they can be comforted by others’ stories, and share their own. The Human Library bridges the gap between the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville community, allowing each to benefit from interactions with the other. Ultimately, The Human Library desires to foster learning, growth, and long-term social change.

The Ridley Scholars Outreach Video

The Ridley Scholarship Fund is an organization that contributes to a superior learning environment at the University by providing scholarships to African-American students of high academic caliber and addressing issues of importance to African-American students and alumni. In response to the recent violent, racially-motivated protests at the University and in Charlottesville, the Ridley Scholars will produce an outreach video during the 2018 calendar year to be released in November 2018. The video will target prospective African-American students and is estimated to impact 20,000 prospective students and their families. A hired videographer will record footage of several student-planned events as well as testimonials from University students, faculty, and alumni for the video.

Staff Spotlight: Andrea Seese

Please welcome Andrea Seese to the Jefferson Trust staff! Andrea started with us in January 2018 as a Development Associate. Prior to joining the Trust, her background includes product merchandising and planning for Plow & Hearth catalogs and online, and retail sales and customer service at a variety of places. She earned her degree in Fashion Merchandising & Retail Marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC in 2012.

A Shenandoah Valley, Virginia native, Andrea has called Charlottesville home for the last 4 ½ years. Outside of work, she enjoys playing tennis, hiking, spending time with friends and family, watching football & UVA basketball, traveling, and trying to keep up with her toddler niece and nephew!

Andrea is helping the Trust staff with event planning, communication and marketing initiatives, administrative tasks, and reporting/data analysis. You can reach her at as5gt@virginia.edu or 434-243-9026 for Trust questions.

CASE III Presentation on The Jefferson Trust

Executive Director of the Jefferson Trust, Wayne Cozart, presented an overview of The Jefferson Trust as a successful donor-directed philanthropy at the regional advancement conference CASE III in Atlanta, Georgia this month. Mr. Cozart discussed the success of the Trust as a means of actively involving alumni and parent donors in the ongoing life of the University of Virginia. He spoke about how an endowment like the Jefferson Trust, built on gifts by alumni, parents, and friends, can provide unrestricted dollar support to various areas of the University. He shared that the Trust not only provides opportunities for donors to support the University, but also for those donors to be active in choosing which new grants receive funding each year. This concept is new to higher education and creates an actively involved volunteer group who provide financial support to the University while becoming more personally involved in the active life of the institution. Several individuals attending the presentation expressed interest in starting a similar program at their institution.

In Memoriam: Jefferson Trust Trustee Ed McCrady (1963–2018)

Last month the UVA community lost Ed McCrady, a terrific father, husband, and supporter of the University. Ed graduated from UVA’s McIntire School in 1985, where he was an accomplished student and Lawn Resident. Ed set off on a decorated career and eventually became CEO of Atlanta Storage Partners, a position he held for the last fifteen years. He always looked for ways to give back to the communities that were important to him, serving on the boards of the Lovett School and the Foundation Board of the McIntire School of Commerce. His understanding of the importance of philanthropy, and the potential impact it can have in higher education, drove him to join the Jefferson Trust. An integral part of our grant conversations, Ed was a true advocate for entrepreneurial education; his voice was critical in shaping the Trust to be a major supporter of innovative programs related to entrepreneurship. We are reminded of Ed’s love for his family, his commitment to bettering his communities, and his positive attitude while working and serving others.

His full obituary can be read here.

Global Leadership Forum

In November 2017, 30 emerging leaders from 27 countries, students and faculty from the University of Virginia, and other scholars and experts gathered on grounds to participate in The Presidential Precinct’s Global Leadership Forum: Promoting Gender Equality in Education. Events included round-table and panel discussions, breakout workshops, small group conversations, and site visits to Charlottesville community organizations, with project-based learning components. The Jefferson Trust was very pleased to support this initiative!

The week began with the University of Virginia’s Women’s Global Leadership Forum, a part of the Bicentennial celebration. Spearheaded by the UVA Morven Programs, the forum brought together women of all backgrounds to address the “Role of Women in the 21st Century Democracy.” Participants explored the challenges and contributions women have made in today’s complex society through conversations on 21st century democracy: race, religion, and gender, leadership and gender equality, political power, mobilizing millennials, and health and education challenges for women and girls. The culmination of the event was the closing address by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, where she discussed the path forward for women in 21st century democracy.

The forum continued with the Presidential Precinct’s Global Leadership Forum, which focused on developing innovative ideas and effective solutions being implemented to ensure that women and girls around the world have equal access to quality educational opportunities setting them up for lifelong success. Highlights included small group site visits to Charlottesville’s most progressive and concentrated programs focused on education, and Design-Thinking sessions where participants learned practical solutions to complex problems, based on an understanding of target group needs. Lastly, a key application involved a full-day design challenge – in small groups participants used design-thinking methodology to tackle real-world problems in one of the participant’s home countries, which resulted in six new approaches to various challenges in gender equality in education.

Organizers of the week consider their weeklong symposium a successful event. Attendees were able to strengthen individual skills and perspectives to address gender equality in education, create professional ties among participants, and UVA students who worked on the program gained a valuable professional development opportunity. From one global emerging leader, “In addition to the various interactive and informational sessions delivered during GLF, I appreciated connecting with many leaders from all around the globe acting as agents of change with regard to women and gender issues in their respective communities. What’s more striking was for me to see to what extent projects other peers have been able to successfully implement which I long have thought impossible at home. Now more than any time before, I am armed with the confidence and inspiration it takes in order to drive the same initiatives in my own country as well. I feel so empowered to be part of this large network of young leaders.” Funding from the Jefferson Trust supported partial program costs, helping in the symposium’s success.