UVA, Monticello Announce 2018 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medalists

Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in wooden boxes on a table

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals will be awarded during Founder's Day celebrations in April. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

On April 13, the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will present their highest honors, the 2018 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in Architecture, Citizen Leadership and Law, respectively, to:

  • Architecture: Sir David Adjaye OBE, a globally acclaimed architect and founder of Adjaye Associates renowned for his ingenious use of materials and sculptural designs, including the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture; MORE
  • Citizen Leadership: Morgan CarringtonCaryFowler Jr., an American agriculturalist and former executive director of the Crop Trust whose decades of work championing crop diversity and conservation included the creation of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – the world’s largest collection of crop diversity, housing more than 930,000 distinct varieties; MORE
  • Law: Frank H. Easterbrook, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and senior lecturer of law at the University of Chicago Law School, known for his expertise in antitrust law, criminal law and procedure, and corporate law. MORE

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals recognize the exemplary contributions of recipients to the endeavors in which Jefferson – the author of the Declaration of Independence, the third U.S. president and the founder of the University of Virginia – excelled and held in high regard.

“All of this year’s medal recipients have excelled in their respective fields,” UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “Along with their commitment to achievement in their disciplines, they share a sense of intellectual innovation and service to the greater good.”

The medals are the highest external honors bestowed by the University, which grants no honorary degrees. The awards are presented annually on Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, by the president of the University and the president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the independent, nonprofit organization that owns and operates Jefferson’s home, Monticello. April 13 is known locally as Founder’s Day, celebrating Jefferson and his founding of UVA in Charlottesville in 1819.

“Thomas Jefferson was an essential architect of American life. A philosopher, revolutionary, president, scientist, diplomat, educator, farmer and epicure, Jefferson shaped the new nation,” Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, said. “We are honored to welcome the 2018 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal recipients, each of whom, like Jefferson, has made a profound impact on our world and will inspire future generations of leaders.”

Bowman and Sullivan will present the medals, struck for the occasion, to the recipients at a luncheon in the Dome Room of the Jefferson-designed Rotunda at UVA. The medalists in Architecture, Law and Citizen Leadership will each give a free public lecture at UVA, and will be honored at a formal dinner at Monticello.

The complete schedule of events for Founder’s Day can be found here.

Fowler, the recipient of the Medal in Citizen Leadership, will also be the featured keynote speaker at Monticello’s commemoration of Jefferson’s 275th birthday on April 13 at 10 a.m. on the West Lawn of Monticello. The celebration is free and open to the public. The ceremony will also be live streamed online.

This year’s medalists join a distinguished roster of past winners that includes architects Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, I.M. Pei, Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond; seven former and current U.S. Supreme Court justices; former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher; former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch; Gordon Moore, engineer, technologist and entrepreneur; Alice Waters, chef, food activist and founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project; Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund; Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America; Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve; former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; and several former and current U.S. senators and representatives, including John Lewis and John Warner.

Media Contact

Mia Magruder Dammann

Thomas Jefferson Foundation