Sullivan Speaks on Status of UVA as Founder's Day Approaches - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Sullivan Speaks on Current Status of UVA as Founder's Day Approaches

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The University of Virginia is celebrating a special day in its history. Founder's Day honors the remembrance of the university's founder - Thomas Jefferson.

As Founder's Day approaches, President Teresa Sullivan is asking a big question: what would Thomas Jefferson think of the university if he returned for a visit? Thursday, Sullivan gave a speech at UVA answering that question. She says it's fair to say Thomas Jefferson would be pleased and surprised on his hypothetical visit.       

Sullivan says Jefferson would be happy to know even students on a budget can get an education at UVA. Access UVA - the university's financial aid program  - continues to support more students each year.

"The total cost of Access UVA now approaches nearly $100 million, and while the majority of that money is still federal and state money, about $40 million in institutional funds are going there," said Sullivan.

Sullivan says Jefferson would also be pleased to see how diversified the university has become. She says there are students from more than 111 countries attending UVA.

Fourth-year student Justin Pierce says he sees the diversity first hand.  

"That's pretty neat and when I think about it, I know 10 or 12 different students from different countries," said Pierce.  

Sullivan says the university's curriculum still lines up with Thomas Jefferson's philosophy.  The medical education building is one place feeling Jefferson's impact.

"The new curriculum rejects the traditional split between basic and clinical sciences, and instead integrates basic science with clinical medicine," said Sullivan.

The event was live streamed so alumni could be a part of Founder's Day tradition.

Founder's Day is officially on April 13, Thomas Jefferson's birthday.

For more information on Founder's Day, click here.

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