Third Annual Jefferson Trust Grants Provide $470,000 to University of Virginia, Exceeding $1 Million in Cumulative Gifts

April 4, 2008 — A team of University of Virginia students and faculty will work to prevent water-borne diseases that are devastating South African children. Other students will participate in a program that allows them to spend their summers in laboratories and studios, working alongside their faculty mentors. The Glee Club will tap into U.Va.'s musical history to research and record the "Songs of Virginia." Still more students will enjoy a variety of enhanced educational and volunteer opportunities, both in Charlottesville and around the world.

These are among the beneficiaries of 10 grants totaling $470,000 that the Jefferson Trust will announce in connection with Founder's Day — the University of Virginia's celebration of Thomas Jefferson's April 13 birthday. The grants will be presented during a ceremony on the south steps of the Rotunda on April 11 at 4:30 p.m. The Jefferson Trust, administered by the University of Virginia Alumni Association, has a simple aim: to provide the margin of excellence at the University.

The 2008 recipients are:
•    The College of Arts & Sciences, to support the College Science Scholars Program and the new College Arts Scholars Program, which are intended to attract and support the very best students in the sciences and the arts. Students in the programs will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors in summer lab, seminar or studio experiences.
Amount Granted:    $75,000

•    The School of Engineering and Applied Science, to launch a comprehensive international studies program for U.Va. engineering students and faculty. The program addresses a critical need for international experience by supporting study-abroad scholarships and grants for global engineering projects, among other related initiatives.
Amount Granted:    $75,000

•    U.Va.'s Center for Undergraduate Excellence, to reinstate the Double 'Hoo Research initiative, a program that supports pairs of undergraduate and graduate scholars seeking to pursue yearlong independent research projects, and encouraging collaborative interaction between the undergraduate and graduate communities throughout the University.
Amount Granted:    $60,000

•    The McIntire School of Commerce, to support the Global Partnership and Curriculum Development, an initiative that is part of a proposed $15 million Center for Global Commerce. This program will initially provide M.S. candidates the opportunity to spend a month abroad immersing themselves in international culture and business environments, and later extend to undergraduate and other programs.
Amount Granted:    $60,000

•    U.Va.'s Center for Global Health, to support the Water and Health in Limpopo Province initiative, which builds on seven years of existing relationships with the University of Venda in Africa and several schools at the University to address improving access to clean water and sanitation in this South African province. Students and faculty will also monitor the impact of their work on the health of the community, where water-borne diseases are rampant and contribute to the highest incidence of childhood diarrhea in South Africa.
Amount Granted:    $50,000

•    Madison House, to support the Program Capacity Building Project, which will increase the advising and quality of student leadership at Madison House and free staff resources to proactively join U.Va.'s initiatives in public service and leadership.
Amount Granted:    $50,000

•    The School of Architecture, to support the U.Va. Falmouth Field School in Historic Preservation. The Falmouth School in Jamaica addresses the preservation of Falmouth's historic Georgian architecture and its relevance in the Caribbean. The impending construction of a major cruise ship terminal over the next two years brings increased urgency to the school's restoration and preservation efforts.
Amount Granted:    $40,000

•    The College of Arts & Sciences, to support a series of small-class seminars with an academic advising component called "COLA," or the College of Liberal Arts.
Amount Granted:    $30,000

•    The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, for a newly formed U.Va. Center for German Studies that will generate cooperative research projects with German partner universities. The grant will be earmarked for September's launch of the center, which will feature a prominent guest lecturer from Germany who will discuss German-U.S. relations with students and faculty.
Amount Granted:    $15,000

•    The Virginia Glee Club, to research, perform and record a collection of songs that reflect the historical significance of the University's choral music legacy. The project is titled "Songs of Virginia."
Amount Granted:    $15,000

About the Jefferson Trust

The U.Va. Alumni Association's Board of Managers established the Jefferson Trust in 2004 with the goal of providing an unrestricted endowment dedicated to pursuing excellence throughout the University, says Michael Clarke (Col '84), the trust's executive director. The fund's major donors — those giving $100,000 or more — are offered membership on the board of trustees, which allocates the funds.

The trust announced its first round of grants, totaling $303,000, at the public launch of the University's $3 billion capital campaign in September 2006. In 2007, the trust granted $325,000 to a variety of programs around the University. The grants are announced each year around the Founder's Day observance.

The trust's goal is to raise a $10 million endowment, which would allow annual grants of approximately $500,000. It currently has assets of approximately $6.3 million.