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Founder's Day

Founder's Day

April 13, 2018

Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, has been celebrated at the University of Virginia since the University’s first academic session in 1819. Locally, the celebration is known as Founder’s Day.

On Founder’s Day, UVA and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the private, nonprofit corporation that has owned and operated Monticello since 1923, join together to present the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals to recognize achievements of those who embrace endeavors in which Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president, excelled and held in high regard. 

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in Architecture, Law, Citizen Leadership, and Global Innovation are the highest external honors bestowed by the University, which grants no honorary degrees. The names of this year's recipients of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals will be announced in February 2018.

Additionally, the University plants a tree on Founder's Day in celebration of a member of the UVA community who has made significant, lasting contributions to University life. The 2018 recipient will be announced in February 2018.