Fifth Annual Jefferson Trust Grants to Support 10 Projects at U.Va.

May 6, 2010 — The Jefferson Trust at the University of Virginia recently announced the awarding of 10 new grants totaling $350,000 to several University initiatives, among them a two-year project focused on music collected and performed by Thomas Jefferson and a program to ensure educational access for low-income students.

Also, the grants will help fund a two-day national symposium on legal issues for up to 1,000 students; equip nurses with iPod Touches for improved access to medical information; support a teaching fellowship for a pre-doctoral global development studies major; and help educate first-year women about body image issues related to eating disorders.

Established by the U.Va. Alumni Association in 2004, the Jefferson Trust is an unrestricted endowment that distributes funds annually through a Groundswide grant program. The unrestricted nature of the endowment allows the trustees to pursue excellence across the entire University by supporting a variety of initiatives in programs that enhance teaching, scholarship and research; programs that allow faculty and students to work closely together while engaging in hands-on learning; and programs that allow the University community to reach out to other communities – locally, nationally and globally.

In its first five years – including this year – the Jefferson Trust has awarded more than $1.85 million for 50 projects. The grants have ranged from as little as $5,000 to as much as $150,000, and have averaged about $37,000 per project.

The projects have been diverse. They have ranged from helping fund the interdisciplinary work of U.Va. faculty and students who are trying to improve the quality of drinking water in rural South Africa to enabling the Virginia Glee Club to recover and record traditional University songs.

This year, the trustees, led by Grant Committee chair Sharon Owlett, reviewed more than 31 grant applications.

Grants from the Jefferson Trust are announced each year on or around Founder's Day, typically on the south steps of the Rotunda. On April 15, the 10 new grants – totaling $350,000 and ranging from $19,000 to $54,000 – were announced.

The 2010 grant recipients are:

• Alex Cox, chapter president of The Federalist Society, Law School
2011 Federalist Society Student Symposium –  to support a two-day national symposium for 500 to 1,000 students on timely legal issues. $50,000.

• Charlotte Chapman and Amy Chestnutt, Women’s Center
Body Positive at U.Va. – to provide a body image educational experience for groups of first-year women to address the issue of eating disorders. $48,000.

• Brian Read and Leslie Stern, School of Nursing
Emerging Mobile Learning – to equip nursing students with iPod Touches to provide immediate access to relevant information. $25,000.

• Richard Handler, College of Arts & Sciences
Global Development Studies Pre-doctoral Fellows Program – to help fund a two-year pre-doctoral teaching fellowship in the emerging global development studies major. $54,000.
 
• Elizabeth Bass, Madison House
Madison House 40th Anniversary – to recognize and celebrate the 40 years of public service to the University and Charlottesville. $40,000.

• Brian Cofrancesco, School of Architecture
Restoration and Conservation of the 1926 Model of the Academical Village – to fund undergraduate students restoring a historic 1926 model of the University to be placed in the Architecture School. $28,900.

• John S. Nesselroade, Institute on Aging
Preparing Public Citizens in the Art and Science of Health – to create a class focused on the performing arts and their effects on memory among the aging. $29,800.

• Greg Roberts, Office of Admission
Scholars Visitation Program – to provide special programming and financial support to top low-income students from diverse backgrounds. $30,300.

• Bonnie Gordon and Richard Will, McIntire Department of Music
Jefferson’s Soundscapes – for a two-year educational initiative focused on the music that Thomas Jefferson collected and performed in his lifetime. $25,000.

• Janet Kaltenbach, Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra
Celesta Purchase – toward purchase of a celesta, a glass instrument originating in the 18th century and popular in Thomas Jefferson’s time. $19,000.

The grant ceremony included remarks by Wayne D. Cozart, vice president of development for the U.Va. Alumni Association and executive director of the Jefferson Trust, and Stephen A. Riddick, chairman of the U.Va. Alumni Association Board of Managers. The Jefferson Trust grants were presented by Deanne Maynard, a member of the U.Va. Alumni Association Board of Managers and chair of the Jefferson Trust Board of Trustees.