PROVIDING AN UNPARALLELED LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION
So much has changed, in such a short period of time. As I wrote this message in mid-April, we were a month into this unprecedented time of self-quarantine, of tireless vigilance and preparation for the emergence and spread of COVID-19. The early spring’s normal soundtrack, featuring the murmured discussions of faculty and students taking their seminars to the sunny steps of the Amphitheater, the late-afternoon laughter of students lingering on the Lawn, and the buzzing of landscaper’s edgers and trimmers and the other busy sounds of UVA facilities management crews preparing these Grounds for Final Exercises, was replaced with silence.
And yet, as the Grounds emptied, the University’s important work continued out of sight. Our collective isolation inspired innovation. We all became more adept at video-conferencing and our use of online tools to connect virtually. The College’s leadership team continued to work with President Jim Ryan and UVA’s leadership to adapt daily, and sometimes hourly, to the evolving challenges. Our faculty, with the help of our invaluable Learning Design & Technology team, worked to move thousands of spring semester classes online as our students gamely adapted to continue their studies remotely.
The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences prides itself for its fundamental missions of preparing students for 21st-century careers and vocations of purpose and value and serving the global common good. Those missions did not get shelved this spring. This issue of A&S Magazine highlights our recent successes, as well as our ability to adapt and thrive in the face of communal challenges and crises.
From the implementation of our new undergraduate curriculum, to the vital research we are conducting on Virginia’s Eastern Shore to protect the environment and the local economy, to the scholarly excellence in African American and African studies flourishing within the Carter G. Woodson Institute and its fellowship program, we provide an unparalleled experience for our students as our faculty and researchers address some of society’s most urgent problems. You will also read about the shared efforts by our dedicated faculty, staff and students to continue their shared academic work from home offices, kitchen tables, childhood bedrooms and other remote locations.
I hope we all emerge from this challenging period inspired and energized by the resilience, creativity and public value of the great and good work of the Arts & Sciences community.
Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts & Sciences
Published by the College Foundation of the University of Virginia
Eugene R. Schutt Jr.
President, College Foundation
John A. Carfagno
Director of Communications
CREATIVE DIRECTION AND DESIGN
Vice President of Marketing and Communications, College Foundation
Lee Burleigh Harper
Chief Operating Officer, College Foundation
John A. Carfagno