January 29, 2010 — University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III has been named Virginian of the Year, the highest citizen honor given by the Virginia Press Association.
He will receive the Parks-Mason Award recognizing him on March 20 during the VPA/Associated Press News Conference & Annual Meeting in Roanoke.
Casteen, U.Va.'s president since 1990, will retire on Aug. 1.
A former English professor at the University of California as well as at U.Va., he served as Virginia's secretary of education from 1982 to 1985. The press association cited his leadership in the Higher Education Restructuring Act; his stewardship of the $3 billion Campaign for the University; and his oversight during 20 years of significant improvements in academic programs and expansions of U.Va.'s Grounds.
"In this period, also, the university has been recognized for its leadership in educating minority students, for the quality of its undergraduate teaching, and for its success in refinancing itself following historic reductions in state tax support at the beginning of the decade," VPA said in its press release.