Fall Convocation Highlights University of Virginia’s Family Weekend Schedule


The annual Fall Convocation ceremony – at which the University of Virginia will present the Thomas Jefferson Awards and honor its top students midway through their undergraduate careers – headlines Family Weekend activities.

The ceremony will be held Friday at 2 p.m. in the John Paul Jones Arena, with a keynote address by John D. Simon, executive vice president and provost, who joined U.Va. a little more than a year ago.

The ceremony will include the awarding of Intermediate Honors to 344 students, representing the top 20 percent of those who have completed at least 60 hours of course work in their first two years.

Two members of the University community will receive Thomas Jefferson Awards, U.Va.’s highest honor. One person will receive the award recognizing excellence in service, which has been sponsored since 1955 by the Robert Earll McConnell Foundation, and another will receive the award recognizing excellence in scholarship, established in 2009 by the Alumni Board of Trustees of the University of Virginia Endowment Fund Inc.

Fall Convocation will be streamed live on the Office of Major Events website.

Simon is the University’s chief academic officer, charged with directing the academic administration of the 11 schools, the University Library, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, public service activities, numerous University centers, foreign study programs and the advancement of teaching and research. He is also the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Chemistry.

Simon served as the vice provost for academic affairs at Duke University from 2005 to 2011 and chaired Duke’s chemistry department from 1999 to 2004.

He received his B.A. from Williams College in 1979 and his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University in 1983. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California-Los Angeles, Simon joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California-San Diego in 1985, and then moved to Duke as the George B. Geller Professor in 1998.

The Family Weekend schedule includes dozens of events, exhibits and tours, running from Friday through Sunday. The College of Arts & Sciences is opening more than 40 classes on Friday, and on Saturday will host a discussion about the Civil War with Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History Elizabeth Varon and a reception with association deans in Minor Hall.

U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan will address parents and students on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium about opportunities for students outside the classroom, followed by a question-and-answer session with University vice presidents, deans and student leaders.

The popular Culturefest!, featuring a variety of performances, ethnic clothes and cultural information, produced and presented by students, will be from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Aquatic & Fitness Center.

Media Contact