Oct. 2, 2006 — The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors went into a surprise special session sometime between dinner and dessert at a Saturday night (Sept. 30) event that capped off the launch of the University’s $3 billion campaign.
Thomas F. Farrell II, rector of the Board, introduced a resolution honoring Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer, for his long career of service and dedication to the University.
The honor comes in the way of placing the Sandridge name on two recent construction projects in which he was intimately involved – the John Paul Jones Arena and the connector road between the by-pass and Massie Road. The entrance of the JPJ Arena will be known as the Leonard W. Sandridge Portal, while the connector road will become Sandridge Road.
“Anyone who has been involved in University activities knows that for the last 30 years one individual has made a significant difference in the lives of faculty, staff, students and alumni . . . This individual shies away from the spotlight at all costs,” said Farrell, who added, “Well, the board has had enough of that and we decided to call him to account in a very public way.”
Farrell then asked board members to stand while he read the resolution, which in part states:
"Whereas, Mr. Sandridge is known and respected throughout the University for his hard work, his fair mindedness and his devotion above all to the good of the institution . . .the Board joins the entire community in thanking him for all he has done, and continues to do, for the University of Virginia.”
The resolution received a quick and unanimous approval and cheers from those in attendance.
Sandridge, with wife Jerry by his side, appeared just a bit uncomfortable by the accolades, and said later that he was totally surprised. “It was a great moment, and I was very pleased that Jerry and so many friends could be with me,” he said. “I work for a great president and extraordinary Board; my association with alumni and friends of the University over many years has been extremely rewarding. To be recognized by these individuals is truly a special honor.”
Given time to reflect further on the resolution, Sandridge focused on the community benefits of the projects that will carry his name. “I see the connector road and the portal as means of serving our employees, students, customers and the community - it is a significant honor for my name to be associated with facilities that serve others.”