2010 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals Awarded to E.O. Wilson, Janet Napolitano and Joseph Neubauer

February 25, 2010 — The University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation will present their highest honors, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in architecture, law and citizen leadership, during Founder's Day activities on April 13. The awards are presented jointly by U.Va. and by the foundation, the independent, nonprofit organization that owns and operates Monticello.

The recipients:

•    E.O. Wilson, Harvard University environmentalist, scientist and ethicist, will receive the 2010 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture.

•    Janet Napolitano, U.S. secretary of homeland security, will receive the 2010 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law.

•    Joseph Neubauer, chairman and chief executive officer of ARAMARK, will receive the 2010 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals are the highest external honors bestowed by the University, which grants no honorary degrees. They recognize achievements of those who embrace endeavors that Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, third U.S. president and U.Va. founder, excelled in and held in high regard. For a list of all previous winners, visit the Monticello Web site.

The medals, struck for the occasion, will be presented at a public ceremony by U.Va. President John T. Casteen III and Thomas Jefferson Foundation President Leslie Greene Bowman. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium. The honorees will dine at Monticello on April 12, and each will also give a public address.

"Jefferson wrote, 'Honesty, knowledge and industry are the qualities which will lead you to the highest employments of your country, and to its highest esteem,'" Bowman said. "It is Monticello's privilege to join with the University of Virginia in honoring these three individuals and expressing our highest esteem for their outstanding achievements in fields that Jefferson held dear."

Tickets will be required for the medal presentation ceremony. Free tickets will be available beginning April 1 on a first-come, first-served basis from the U.Va. Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of Culbreth Theatre.  Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Each person can obtain two tickets. 

— By Marian Anderfuren