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Visiting the University of Virginia
UVA's Central Grounds are thought by many to be one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world. No visit is complete without touring the University's famous Lawn. Designed by Thomas Jefferson as the heart of his "Academical Village," the Lawn has as its centerpiece Jefferson's Rotunda. Free guided tours are given by students of the University Guide Service during the academic year, while the Admissions Office offers Admissions tours during the summer, and the Rotunda staff offers historical tours. While classes are in session, tours begin just inside the entrance of the Rotunda Monday- Friday at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm, and 11am on Saturdays and Sundays. During the summer months of May- August, call admissions at 982-3200 for information about admissions tours, and the Rotunda at 924-7969 for historical tours.
"Mr. Jefferson" lived to see his University open in the summer of 1825. Unfortunately the Rotunda burned to its brick shell in 1895, was "restored" by architect Stanford White and restored again to Jefferson's essential design in time for the American Bicentennial in 1976. The tours of the Rotunda and Lawn include a peek at alumnus Edgar Allan Poe's room, #13, of course.
After taking in the sights of Central Grounds, be sure to take a self-guided tour of the Lawn's ten pavilions, many of which house faculty and their families and the surrounding Gardens . Romance-ready, they're popular among the student body as the place to woo (and sometimes to wed) a Hoo. Beware of strolling the Lawn during the dark hours; it's a tradition among students to streak the lawn at least once before graduating.
Back when it was a Virginia gentleman's college, UVA sports were probably a lot of fun, but the national rankings were few and far between. Now, things are so big that UVA spent $100 million to expand its football stadium's capacity to more than 60,000, plus another $130 million for a new 15,000 seat basketball arena. As is evident on UVA's popular official fan website, virginiasports.com, many other Wahoo athletic teams have also established themselves as some of the premier college programs in America, including the consistently dominant men's and woman's lacrosse, soccer, and baseball teams.
Ticket office: 800-542-UVA1 (8821) or 924-UVA1 (8821)
–>>Check out more in our Sports and Recreation section.
Getting there: You're in luck if you're staying at a downtown hotel because you can walk or take the CAT free trolley, which looks like a San Francisco cable car but travels on rubber tires between The Corner, Jefferson Park Avenue, and Downtown every 15 minutes from 6:45am until 11:30pm and every 30 minutes on Sunday. 970-3649
Parking: Enjoying UVA is easy once you've found a map and a place to park. Parking decks are at 14th Street and Wertland Street, on Emmet Street, under the bookstore by Mem Gym, at the UVA Hospital, and on Culbreth Road, across the street from the Culbreth and Helms Theaters. If nothing's available in any of the lots, your best bet is to check the paid lots in and around the Corner, or look for on-street parking.
Parking at the Culbreth Road garage is free to visitors all weekend long and every weekday after 5pm.
The Corner: At this enclave of shops, bars, and restaurants surrounding the University, parking is tighter than anywhere else in town, but the streetscapes are lively, and the shops are eclectic. Although hotspot for University students during the evening and weekends, the Corner holds something for everyone at all hours of the day (and night).
The Board of Visitors- The most plum appointments a governor can make, BOV choices create great excitement and hand-wringing. (As the recent President Sullivan ouster and reinstatement amply showed.) They serve four-year terms.
Helen E. Dragas, Rector, Virginia Beach
Frank B. Atkinson, Richmond
Hunter E. Craig, Charlottesville
A. Macdonald Caputo, Greenwich, CT
Alan A. Diamonstein, Newport News
Allison Cryor DiNardo Alexandria
Victoria D. Harker, McLean
Marvin W. Gilliam, Bristol
Bobbie G. Kilberg, Herndon
Randal J. Kirk, Radford
Stephen P. Long, M.D. Richmond
George K. Martin, Richmond
Vincent J. Mastracco Jr., Norfolk
Edward D. Miller M.D., Baltimore
John L. Nau III, Houston, TX
Timothy B. Robertson, Virginia Beach
Linwood H. Rose, Harrisonburg
Hillary Hurd, student, non-voting member, Richmond
The President: Teresa A. Sullivan. The university's 8th president has a contract in place to serve until 2015.
The day-to-day honcho: Chief Operations Officer Michael Strine, who replaced longtime honcho Leonard Sandridge on July 1, 2011.
Sure, UVA is ostensibly a public university, but the state's contribution is a mere 5.6 percent of the University budget in Fiscal Year 2011-2012. That's down from 6.4 percent in 2010-'11 and 8.1 percent just a few years back. The rest comes mostly from revenue from the UVA Health System, tuition, donations, and assorted grants.
Growing, but for how Long?
UVA has had a clear objective of late: growth, in every sense of the word. Acceptance rates, tuition, fees, and buildings have all been soaring skyward. After the University lost more than $1 billion of its endowment in the economic crash of 2008, some wondered how long the growth could continue. Fortunately, the endowment rebounded and as of May 2011, it had regained its full 2008 value.
The University is expecting 3,360 of the nearly 7,800 admitted students to enroll as part of UVA's Class of 2016. The average SAT score of the class of 2015 is 1396 on a 1600 and 95.7 percent rank in the top ten percent of their high school class. The in-state/out-of-state ratio will remain the same, approximately 2-1.
In-state tuition & fees for 2011-2012: $11,794 ($24,344 includes room, board and estimated expenses)
Out-of-state tuition & fees 2011-'12: $36,788 ($49,608 to $50,528 includes room, board and estimated expenses)
AccessUVa, a program created in 2004 to convert many loans to grants, has expanded to $92.2 million, an increase of $8.9 million over last year. This expansion means undergraduate students with family incomes less than or equal to 200 percent of the federal poverty level can have their demonstrated financial need met without loans or a work-study requirement.
If thoughts of UVA make you all warm and fuzzy inside, you may want to rent the gorgeous University Chapel for that warmest and fuzziest day of your life, your wedding day. It's $200 for current students, $350 for faculty, staff and alumni, and $750 for the general public. Crucial Saturdays book up way far in advance, so you'd better plan ahead! To make a reservation, call Newcomb Hall at 924-3203.