UVA, Monticello Announce Recipients of 2022 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals

Thomas Jefferson Foundation 2022 medalists Kenneth Frampton, Sherrie Rollins Westin and Stephen Breyer

This year’s awardees are architect Kenneth Frampton, President of Sesame Workshop Sherrie Rollins Westin and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

On April 12 and 13, the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will present their highest honors, the 2022 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in Architecture, Citizen Leadership, and Law.

This year’s awardees are:

  • Architecture: Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he has taught since 1972. Frampton is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in modern architecture.
  • Citizen Leadership: Sherrie Rollins Westin, president of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street.” Westin leads efforts to serve vulnerable children through mass media and targeted initiatives in the United States and around the world.
  • Law: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, a graduate of Stanford, Oxford and Harvard Law School. In 1994, he was appointed a Supreme Court justice by President Bill Clinton. He will retire from the court at the end of the 2021-22 term.

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.

“I’m thrilled that our University’s highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals, will be awarded this year to a Supreme Court justice, an extraordinarily influential educator and a renowned historian of modern architecture,” UVA president Jim Ryan said. “These are deserving recipients, and I look forward to honoring their successes.”

The medals are presented annually 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.

The celebrations mark the 279th anniversary of Jefferson’s birth.

“Throughout history, we remember those who have been selfless in their leadership and courageous in their convictions,” said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. “These same qualities describe the 2022 recipients of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals, and we are honored to recognize their contributions.”

Bowman and Ryan will present the medals in Architecture and Citizen Leadership at a luncheon on April 13 in the UVA Rotunda Dome Room.

Ryan will present the Medal in Law to Breyer on April 12 at 2 p.m. at the School of Law's Caplin Auditorium, where Breyer will also participate in a public talk with Risa Goluboff, the Law School's dean. 

Medalists will be honored at a formal dinner at Monticello.

The Citizen Leadership medalist, Westin, will be the featured keynote speaker at Monticello’s commemoration of Jefferson’s birthday on April 13 at 10 a.m. on the West Lawn of Monticello.

Frampton, the Architecture medalist, will give a public talk at 4:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall, Room 153, that same day.

All of the talks are free and open to the public and also will be livestreamed.

The complete schedule of Founder’s Day events and details about how to attend the talks in person or view their livestreams can be found on the Founder’s Day Page of UVA’s Major Events website.

This year’s medalists join a distinguished roster of past winners that includes architects Francis Kéré, Sir David Adjaye OBE, 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; special counsel, former FBI director and UVA alumnus Robert S. Mueller III; 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; oceanographer and author Sylvia Earle; Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve; former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; the Honorable Carlton W. Reeves, second African American appointed to a federal judgeship in Mississippi; and several former and current U.S. senators and representatives, including the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis and the late U.S. Sen. John Warner, also a former secretary of the Navy.

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

Office of University Communications