President Sullivan Will Speak at U.Va.'s Fall Convocation

September 7, 2010 — Teresa A. Sullivan, who became the University of Virginia's eighth president in August, will speak at the University's annual Fall Convocation, to be held Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. in the John Paul Jones Arena.

The ceremony includes the awarding of Intermediate Honors to the top 20 percent of students who have completed at least 60 hours of course work at the University in their first two years. Also, two members of the University community will receive the Thomas Jefferson Award, U.Va.'s highest honor. The convocation traditionally kicks off Family Weekend.

The Public Occasions Subcommittee of the Commencement and Convocations Committee is responsible each year for providing the U.Va. president with a list of potential speakers for Fall Convocation. For this year, the committee recommended to then-President John T. Casteen III that President Sullivan be this year's speaker.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to speak to students, parents and faculty members at Fall Convocation," Sullivan said. "This is a festive ceremony to honor the achievement of our top students and to present the Thomas Jefferson Award to two members of our community who have exemplified the principles and ideals of Mr. Jefferson. I look forward to speaking at the ceremony and to participating in a full weekend of activities for our students and their families."

Sullivan was elected in January by the U.Va. Board of Visitors as the University's first female president. A highly regarded academic leader and scholar, she was named to a national committee that will study and make recommendations on the state and future of the American research university.

After earning her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University and her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, Sullivan joined the University of Texas at Austin as a sociology instructor. She remained for 27 years as a teacher, department chair and, eventually, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for all nine University of Texas campuses. She joined the University of Michigan in 2006 as its provost and chief academic officer.

She has continued to teach and publish throughout her career. A prolific writer, she is the author or co-author of six books and more than 80 scholarly articles and chapters. Her research now focuses on labor force demography with emphasis on economic marginality and consumer debt. She has served as chair of the U.S. Census Advisory Committee and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

For information on Fall Convocation visit the website of the Office of Major Events or call 434-982-3099.