U.Va.’s Family Weekend Oct. 20-22; Fall Convocation Set for Friday at 2 p.m.

October 18, 2006

Oct. 18, 2006 -- The annual Family Weekend at U.Va. takes place this year Oct. 20-22. Between 400 and 600 visitors are expected for the weekend, which gives students’ families an opportunity to see University life. Exhibits on poet Robert Frost and aviator James Rogers McConnell and Fall Convocation are among the weekend activities.

During convocation, which begins at 2 p.m. on Friday at University Hall, intermediate honors will be presented to the top 20 percent of students who earned at least 60 credits of course work at U.Va. during their first two years. The winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award, U.Va.’s highest honor,  also will be announced.

Special events, from receptions, dinners and exhibits to dances and athletic events are planned for visitors, including several exhibits at the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture/Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. Robert Frost has been much in the news lately after U.Va. graduate student Robert Stilling discovered a hand-written and previously unpublished Frost poem in U.Va.’s archive. The poem has since appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, to worldwide acclaim. “A Celebration of Robert Frost” exhibit will display that poem as well as selections from the University’s extensive Frost collection, including manuscripts, rare printed editions, personal letters and family photographs. The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

There will be an accompanying discussion of the poem with Glyn Maxwell, poetry editor of the New Republic, Stilling and Ted Genoways, editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, starting at 4 p.m. at the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library Auditorium. Maxwell will be reading from his own poetry at 8 p.m. at the Jefferson Society at Hotel C on the West Range.

“Declaring Independence: Creating and Re-creating America's Document,” which highlights one of the most comprehensive collections of letters, documents and early printings of the Declaration of Independence, including the rare first edition, the Dunlap Broadside, also is on display at the special collections library. An accompanying documentary film is available for viewing in the gallery.

Clemons Library will feature an exhibit of letters, photographs and documents titled “Valor and Devotion: The Story of Student and Aviator James Rogers McConnell.” McConnell was a U.Va. student and World War I pilot who died in battle and is memorialized at the University by The Aviator statue, situated between Clemons and Alderman libraries. The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be a presentation on the South Lawn Project from 4 to 5 p.m. on Friday at the Newcomb Hall Commonwealth Room to update families on the plans and progress of the new South Lawn Project, to be located across Jefferson Park Avenue from New Cabell Hall. The project will add more than 100,000 square feet of classroom and faculty office space to the College of Arts & Sciences and will see approximately 12,000 student visits per day.

There will be candlelight tours of the Lawn from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday night, with University Guides dressed in period costumes leading tours every 15 minutes from the north entrance of the Rotunda to the former room of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe himself will be further honored with an open house at his West Range room from 8 to 10 p.m., hosted by members of the Raven Society. Poe’s room is also the site of a Poe Poetry Reading Contest from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Saturday opens with a five-kilometer foot race. Registration begins at Memorial Gym at 7 a.m. with the race starting at 8 a.m.

The program “Connecting Communities: The History of African-Americans at U.Va.,” from 1 to 2 p.m. at room 107 of Clark Hall, explores the history of African-Americans and issues of race at U.Va.

University of Virginia Art Museum on Rugby Road will host “Complicit! Contemporary American Art and Mass Culture,” multiple pieces by 46 artists whose work shows the identity of fine art in creative dialogue with mass culture in the modern era. The exhibit is open from 1 to 5 p.m.

The family of Thomas Jones, a former star football player for the Cavaliers and a current player for the Chicago Bears, will be honored at the Newcomb Hall Art Gallery from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. on Saturday. Both of Jones’ parents worked in the Southwest Virginia coal mines to send several of their children to U.Va.

Physics professor Lou Bloomfield will present “How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life,” at Brown Science and Engineering Library in Clark Hall, from 2 to 3 p.m.

Newcomb Dining Hall will host Culturefest, an exhibition of international foods and cultures, presented by students. This event runs from 5 to 7 p.m.