April 21 Picnic on the Lawn Will Honor the Casteens

April 6, 2010 — University of Virginia faculty, staff and students are invited to a picnic on the Lawn on April 21 in honor of President John T. Casteen III and his wife, Betsy Casteen.

Casteen will step down on Aug. 1 after 20 years as U.Va.'s seventh president.

An e-mail invitation from Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer, was delivered on Tuesday. Sandridge said that not many events bring together faculty, staff and students in this way.

"This will be a unique chance for all of us in the University community to be in one place with one goal: Thanking the Casteens for everything they've done for U.Va.," he said.

Third-year student Colin Hood, a politics major and the recently elected Student Council president, is a member of the planning committee. He said he hopes the University community, and especially students, will take time to not only celebrate Casteen's tenure but also to learn about his many achievements.

"The picnic is an excellent opportunity for students to recognize Mr. Casteen's contributions to the University and his contributions to our student experience," he said.

The picnic, featuring beef barbecue as well as vegetarian selections, will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the south end of the Lawn. Attendees can come and go as their time allows, and all are invited to "come as you are."

There will be seating for 1,000 people, and picnic blankets will also be spread out. Lawn residents will be encouraged to bring out chairs from their rooms. In the event of rain, tents will help shelter attendees.

Food stations will open at 11 a.m. At 12:45 p.m., there will be a special presentation to the Casteens. The picnic will wrap up with the "Good Ol' Song," led by members of the University Singers.

Those attending are urged to car pool or use University transit.

— By Marian Anderfuren