Major strides are being made in preparation for the celebration of UVa’s bicentennial. With the celebrations beginning in less than a year, UVa’s Board of Visitors has created a bicentennial commission to organize and plan the event.
Last week, President Teresa A. Sullivan and Rector William H. Goodwin Jr. announced the 48-member commission that will be co-chaired by former Rector Thomas Farrell and Dr. Robert W. Battle. The commission will implement the focal points that President Sullivan addressed in her State of the University address last month.
In the address, President Sullivan stated there will be an emphasis on, “Commemorating our history, envisioning the future, and promoting the celebration itself. This bicentennial coincides with a significant increase in the university’s international activities. And this will allow us to make our bicentennial a truly global experience. Major events will take place in Charlottesville. But the celebrations reach will extend to all of the UVA clubs across the United States and the 19 clubs in foreign countries.”
UVa is a global university that touches people across the world and is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the country. Thus far, fewer than fifty schools in the United States have had the ability to celebrate a bicentennial.
Sean K. Jenkins, Senior Assistant to the President at UVa, understands the significance of the bicentennial. While the 200 year anniversary gives the school a chance to look at our history, it is also important to focus on the future.
“UVa must focus on a sustainable financial model, scaling quality instruction, and leveraging technology,” said Jenkins. “We will also look to build on our research and healthcare capabilities…200 years is a long time for an institution of higher education in the US. It’s a significant milestone.”
The appointed commission will serve as the foundation for the celebration and appreciation of the school’s historic past. The bicentennial celebration will begin in 2017 and last through 2019. It will feature exhibits in UVa museums, academic and social events, and events that bring together UVa students and alumni from across the world.