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Founder's Day

Important Notice

In response to the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, and evidence of its likely progression over the next few months, all University events on Grounds are prohibited until at least May 15. Final Exercises will not take place as currently planned. A team is already focused on developing creative alternatives to mark this important occasion for the Class of 2020, which includes holding Final Exercises at a later date. We will communicate updates as we have them. All events on Grounds have been cancelled during this semester.

 

Our top priority is the safety of students and members of the local and UVA community, visitors, and guests. More information on UVA's response to COVID-19.

Founder's Day

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

On Founder’s Day, UVA and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello 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 is forthcoming. 

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 2020 recipient will be announced at a later date.