Thursday Event Celebrates 28th U.S. President, Famous U.Va. Alum


One hundred years after his inauguration, Virginia native and University of Virginia alumnus Woodrow Wilson – the scholar-president who ushered the country through World War I and received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1919 for his sponsorship of the League of Nations – still stands as one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

U.Va.’s College of Arts & Sciences and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton will host a program Thursday at the Rotunda to celebrate Wilson’s presidency (1913-21), reflect on his time as a U.Va. student (1879) and welcome a new biography of Wilson, released in September, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg, who will be a guest speaker at the event.

In a recent interview, Berg said he spent the last 13 years writing “Wilson” for two reasons: Wilson “was the architect of much of the last century and re-drew the map of the world,” and because he had been one of the author’s four heroes in high school. (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Adlai Stevenson and Don Quixote were the other three; Berg happens to share the same alma mater with Wilson, Fitzgerald and Stevenson – Princeton University – where Wilson was also president from 1902-10.)

Wilson attended the U.Va. School of Law for one year, but had to withdraw due to frail health. During his time on Grounds, he was involved in the Virginia Glee Club and the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, serving as the society’s president.

Wilson was born in Staunton on Dec. 28, 1856. His birthplace is now the site of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library.

For details, contact Linda Perriello at

REVISED, Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m., to reflect that registration for the event is now closed.