December 1, 2008 — The UVaClub of Charlottesville presented University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III with a $20,000 gift Monday to support AccessUVa, the University's financial aid program.
Casteen welcomed club members, who raised the funds through their annual spring gala, to a reception at Carr's Hill. "We're here to celebrate your collective generosity," he said.
In praising the club for its initiative, Casteen underlined the critical importance of AccessUVa to the future excellence of the University as well as the growing need to support students who require financial aid – from the most needy through middle income.
"AccessUVa meets 100 percent of demonstrated need for all students. As a result, it enriches the University by building diversity and academic excellence," he said.
In the current first-year class, 877 students are participating in AccessUVa, up from 844 last year. One hundred and eighty-two are on full scholarship, while the remainder are middle-income students eligible for the AccessUVa loan cap.
Casteen said that given the global financial crisis, the University expects the number of students eligible for need-based financial aid to increase over the next two years and the cost of AccessUVa to exceed earlier projections. The current annual cost is $53.8 million.
"The UVaClub of Charlottesville's gift for AccessUVa ensures that deserving young women and men can come here for a first-rate education without mortgaging their future," Casteen said. "We are grateful for your generosity, for your involvement, and for all that you do for the University community."
He closed his remarks by reiterating a decision that he and Mrs. Casteen made public in a recent message to alumni and friends. "This year, Betsy and I are making an additional year's-end gift to AccessUVa, because we share your concern about student financial-aid programs."