60 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. the visitors

      The University is open to absorb new brains continuously from the outside. It is one way of achieving diversity and competition without harming the euphony of the staff and student body.

    2. Encouraged therefore by the sentiments of the Legislature, manifested in this statute, we present the following tabular statement of the branches of learning which we think should be taught in the University, forming them into groups, each of which are within the powers of a single professor.

      It's interesting to examine the departments offering courses during the time this document was written and between now. At the time the document was constructed, slavery was very much present at the University and had great support from the Professors and the students. Now, the University offers an African-American studies major and minor. This is a major improvement and shows how far the University has come towards diversity. Students are now able to study African-American and African history and culture.

      http://woodson.as.virginia.edu/african-american-and-african-studies-major This resource details the requirements for African-American studies majors, why students should consider an African-American studies major, and what students can do with an African-American studies major.

    3. General Assembly

      The Virginia General Assembly is described as "the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World". At various times it may have been referred to as the Grand Assembly of Virginia. It became the General Assembly in 1776 with the ratification of the Virginia Constitution. The government was moved to Richmond in 1780 during the administration of Governor Thomas Jefferson.

    4. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours? and what chains them to their present state of barbarism & wretchedness, but a besotted veneration for the supposed supe[r]lative wisdom of their fathers and the preposterous idea that they are to look backward for better things and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots rather than indulge in the degeneracies of civilization

      I think this is a very important part of the document. The authors of the document are using the "barbaric" ways of the Native Americans as a selling point for educations. The Native Americans are referred to as barbaric, wretched, uncivilized, and indigenous (which is especially ironic because they were here first.) However, the are overlooking the fact that the Native Americans are wise and educated in their own ways. This phrase shows the lack of cultural appreciation during this time, that anything other than the "American" way of education was uncivilized and barbaric. The authors are claiming that education is the future, but that there is only one way to be educated. How does this phrase add onto the recurring theme of close-mindedness in this document?

    5. And generally to form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves.

      I feel that this phrase is a bit ironic. Telling students to act as "examples of virtue to others" while at the same time oppressing women and African Americans by only allowing white men to attend the university. It is understandable that this was the "norm" in this time period, but looking back, those were actions of discrimination not correct actions or virtuous actions. The University still holds these values, but the basis of the values have drastically changed. The current "correct action" and "examples of virtue" are often based off of inclusion and integrations. Given recent events, it is especially important to uphold the values.

    6. they do report the central college in Albemarle to be a convenient & proper part of the State for the University of Virginia.

      While perhaps not common in the US recently, there are times when one state splits into two or more because of internal conflict or other reasons. This happened in India two years ago. I wonder what would happen if Virginia ever split into the two, and what the effect on the university would be. This location was chosen to be a proper place for the university but in light of recent events, it is highly probable that Charlottesville will be one the places that it is the spotlight. I wonder what consequences there would be for the university if that happened .

    7. the objects of education in the primary schools, whether private or public, in them should be taught reading, writing & numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration (useful in so many callings) and the outlines of geography and history

      Thomas Jefferson valued education. By implementing these objects of education, the University grew as a whole and has become what we know it as today. However, this system has become outdated and needed to be reformed, hence the creation of the New Curriculum. It is interesting to reflect on the changes of the University based off of this document. By creating a new outlet of education we are supporting the Thomas Jeffersons view of higher education for the University.

    8. To these should be added the arts, which embellish life, dancing music & drawing; the last more especially, as an important part of military education.

      The Universities ability to not only acknowledge the fine arts but sustain it, is a testament to the true foundation of UVA. To combine the arts with military education builds on the schools articulate educational structure. In addition to the arts and sciences, the arts is an important contributor to the development of the human mind.

    9. What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours?

      Here, again, Jefferson displays how he believes that whites are elite. Most of the document people have discussed Jefferson's relationship with slaves and how African-Americans are below being able to attend this University, but here, he mentions another minority group: Native Americans. Earlier in the document, they list the values of education, but here they mention explicitly how education is powerful, especially in the sense of taking over another group of people, whether that be African or Native Americans. Time after time throughout the document, Jefferson and his team mention the value of education for our citizens but they have a long list of people who do not fall in that category, another one of them being Native Americans.

    10. may be rooms for religious worship under such impartial regulations as the visitors shall prescribe

      The committee seems very open to different forms of religious worship and different religions, but are they actually? They may only be open to different Protestant religious forms. This is all in consideration of the target of students and faculty being white, upper-class Protestants. Religious freedom is a part of the Constitution and all but was it enforced, considering our first Catholic President was John F. Kennedy, the 35th President, and his approval wasn't that high because of that. YIKES.

    11. greater security against fire

      Side Comment: Seems like they should've been more concerned with the Rotunda when thinking about this

    12. degree of centrality to the white population of the state which alone then constituted the important point of comparison between these places:

      What exactly was considered white at this point in history of the U.S. of A? Just Anglo- Saxon? If so, this statement is also discriminatory to the European Immigrants that were migrating into the U.S. As I have learned from my COLA: "Whiteness: A Racial Category," Thomas Jefferson believed the Anglo- Saxons were the most pure and "legitimate" white population. So was the creation of UVA meant to be only accessible to Anglo-Saxons?

    13. Projectiles, a leading branch of the Military art Military Architecture, includes Fortification, another branch of that art

      Although we see less military-focused classes in the curriculum, I looked up the Naval Academy's core course requirements and army's ROTC requirements and found similar types of classes. In other words, emphasis on military training has not necessarily been replaced as the US has developed more liberal arts colleges, it has just become more specialized to groups of people who are interested in military careers. This is likely because college educations are needed for so many careers now, while in the past the curriculum was geared towards few, more advanced jobs.

      https://www.usna.edu/Academics/Majors-and-Courses/Course-Requirements-Core.php https://www.goarmy.com/rotc/courses-and-colleges/curriculum/basic-course.html

    14. To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business.

      This passage is interesting because Jefferson compares his view of education to a "business transaction". At face value, this metaphor makes sense--one receives their education and then uses that in whatever manor they choose, in whatever field of study they choose, and apply it in any way they choose. But in another sense, equating education to a transaction seems to go against what Jefferson stood for in education. At UVA, we use the terms "first year", etc to represent how education is eternal. But, in the sense of a transaction it seems very formal and that people should be educated as the first step in wherever their lives take them. Yet, I think that even if one doesn't have "his own business" or know what is next, that education is valuable for all people, as Jefferson said, and that the primary goal of education could stop at, "To give every citizen the information he needs".

    15. Chemistry, is meant, with its other usual branches, to comprehend the theory of Agriculture

      When I first read this description I immediately thought this association between agriculture and chemistry was outdated. Chemistry classes today often focus on preparing students for medical fields or laboratory work. Yet according to the American Chemical Society, agricultural chemists "delve into all aspects of crop and animal production, food safety, quality, nutrition, processing, packaging, and utilization of materials including bioenergy." So, while the use of chemistry has certainly expanded with the industrialization of society, agricultural chemists are still just as important, if not more, than they were 200 years ago.

      https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/college-to-career/chemistry-careers/agricultural-and-food-chemistry.html

    16. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens, being then the objects of education in the primary schools, whether private or public, in them should be taught reading, writing & numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration (useful in so many callings) and the outlines of geography and history, and this brings us to the point at which are to commence the higher branches of education, of which the legislature require the development: those for example which are to form the statesmen, legislators & judges, on whom public prosperity, & individual happiness are so much to depend.

      This object of primary education sounds a bit like a general mission statement for the University. In particular, I found interesting the line about forming "statesmen, legislators and judges." This phrasing seems to resemble an element of UVA's current mission statement, which states that UVA serves by "developing responsible citizen leaders and professionals." It's cool to see how these two statements that were made almost 200 years apart are actually very similar, and communicate a lasting goal of the University. Statesmen, legislators, and judges I think would definitely translate to being considered prominent citizen leaders and professionals in today's world. I also like the rest of the line ,"on whom public prosperity, & individual happens are so much to depend." This speaks a lot to the purpose of the dedication to creating citizen leaders, in that it is beneficial to the public to have more of these virtuous figures, and that it brings one fulfillment to achieve this position. [](http://www.virginia.edu/statementofpurpose

      Link to UVA's mission statement

    17. Also the whole of his Slaves amounting to 57 in num

      I have to agree that mentioning slaves in this report is hard to ignore. However, it is worth noting that non-white people is hardly depicted in 19th century writings and artworks. For examples, thousands of Chinese railroad workers labored and died building the first trans-continental railroad. However, shockingly, when the railroad was finally finished, and people were going to lay the last golden spike, they drove away all the Chinese workers. Therefore, in the famous picture celebrating the complete of the first pacific railroad, those who worked the hardest is not depicted purely because of their ethnicity. The point I try to make that is it is worth study the topic of non-white depiction in 19th writings and art.

    18. The objects of this primary education determine its character & limits. These objects would be,

      These objects listed here are tools towards the goal of granting those who receive an education at UVA the capabilities to pursue happiness and well-being. This is actually a perfect example for Amartya Sen's capability approach with well-being. Sen argued that it is the capability not the result for people to achieve personal and agency achievement that matters as the ultimate goal. By improving morals and faculties, students are better equipped with the toolset to decide what's right and what's wrong. By have the information for the transaction of his own businesses, the students have the ability to provide for himself and his family in terms of materialistic gains. We can clearly see that the objectives are conceived in regard to capabilities but not simple outcomes.

    19. To these should be added the arts, which embellish life, dancing music & drawing; the last more especially, as an important part of military education. These innocent arts furnish amusement & happiness to those who, having time on their hands, might less inoffensively employ it; needing, at the same time, no regular incorporation with the institution, they may be left to accessory teachers,

      These sentences seem to form a little bit of a contradiction, in that at first the report says that the arts are important/valuable, but then saying they need not be "incorporated with the institution." Nonetheless, they do show some thoughts about the arts back when UVA was being founded. In my current engagement class, Art: Inside/Out, we always discuss how art comes into play in our daily lives and how people view art on large and small scales. I see these same themes in this part of the report, because it is reflecting on how the commissioners see art and for what purpose they think it serves. In this case, its seems the purposes are either for military use or plain enjoyment. I believe if we asked the University community what the value and purpose of art is today, we would see a stark contrast to this, as well as an extreme variety of answers. Many people would say that art might be to spread a message or support some larger movement. Today we see the presence of art so much at UVA, such as through musical and theater groups, public art installations like the curiosity shop, or the mural on the side of the Graduate Charlottesville Hotel.

    20. To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice those he retains;

      This statement is interesting because it claims that one of the University's goals was to ensure that students were aware of their rights and how to exercise them. This is quite the contrast from the University's opinion on slavery and the treatment of African-Americans. Perhaps, because the University did not consider enslaved persons as actual human beings, they did not think about how contradicting they were being with this statement.

      https://famguardian.org/Subjects/Politics/ThomasJefferson/jeff1275.htm This article demonstrates Jefferson's well-rounded knowledge of the justice system and the rights of all citizens, which is interesting given his positive view of slavery and the treatment of his slaves, specifically Sally Hemmings.

    21. so important to be woven into the American character

      One of the most interesting motifs I've noticed in the report is Jefferson's desire to shape society in his image. Jefferson doesn't just want to educate the youth; he wants to define "The American Character". He and his compatriots spend a good deal of the report defining what they believes the ideal character of a person should be, and then proceed to design the curriculum around how they believe such a person can be created. The founders of UVA were obviously intent on using the university for some form of social engineering. I don't necessarily believe that manipulating the thoughts and feelings of the population is a bad thing, provided that the attempt at doing so is done properly with a strong ethical basis*, but it does bother me how all these old white men used their positions to shape the "American character" in their image.

      *Let's face it, we need a bit of social engineering sometimes. By and large, the American People have a tendency to behave horrendously when they find themselves in a position from which they can act with impunity.

    22. To harmonize & promote the interests of agriculture, manufactures & commerce and by well informed views of political economy to give a free scope to the public industry.

      I find this passage to be refreshing; here, Jefferson and his colleagues are rather forthright in admitting that universities essentially exist to produce skilled workers to be used by private interests. He still relies on the "self betterment" jargon that the university continues to use as a crutch in its advertisements, but it's nice that he takes the time to point out the industrial complex that colleges are typically built to support. Before anybody comments to this effect: I'm fully aware of how incredibly cynical a statement that is.

    23. As well might it be urged that the wild & uncultivated tree, hitherto yielding sour & bitter fruit only, can never be made to yield better: yet we know that the grafting art implants a new tree on the savage stock, producing what is most estimable both in kind & degree

      I love this sentence because of how it's formed and narrated. At the same time, there's reflection for the incidents caused by white supremacy in nowadays society. We may think that the discrimination between race is deeply rooted in the earth that we may never eradicate it, however, as it's said in this sentence, some trees are so uncultivated that people think there will never be sweet fruits being yielded, but we ignored that the most elegant and persevered spirit is generated from the most savage earth, because the spirit of fighting back. That's exactly how America was born, through the voice against tyranny and the gun toward invasion, by which a colony was transformed into a nation through nirvana.

    24. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either.

      I like this part especially because I think that's the ultimate goal of my study and I think it should also be a very important part in all student's purpose of study. Especially as an international student, I sometimes find myself in an awkward position in the new college curriculum because most of the topics we discussed in my class are domestic issues. Sometimes I will think they're irrelevant to my purpose of study here because what I want to do is to utilize what I learn hear to make my community and country a better place. However after almost a semester of learning, I found that to engage in discussing and thinking about domestic issues in the U.S. and also help me reflect on and inspire me of the problems that my country is facing. They're not conflicting, instead they're inseparable. Integrity is also a concept that we talk about a lot, and I found out integrity not only means the globalization between different cultures and races, but also means a unification between ourselves and our country.

    25. of his own business

      This is one of my favorite parts of the report. This statement still stands true today. People come to UVA, because they know it is going to equip them with everything they need to succeed in whatever field they desire. I would argue that the ability to do this is a vital characteristic of a prime university. If a learning institution cannot fully prepare you to be successful in your future career it's not fulfilling a large component of its purpose. Although I do value the immense emphasis placed on being well rounded and knowledgable, ultimately a majority of college students today are furthering their education solely to be successful in the job field. I'm interested in when the idea of getting a degree just to make more money emerged or if it was always present but hidden behind the focus on improving one's morals and abilities.

    26. the whole of his Slaves

      The inclusion of enslaved persons in the section reserved for identifying property to be inherited is unsurprising, but interesting nonetheless. It provides insight not only into the social position of the enslaved, but also the role they played in the creation of UVA. As seen earlier in the document, they were not an afterthought. The location of minority populations was the main determinant of where to place the university. It's hard to read a document that advocates for the betterment and advancement of society while simultaneously dehumanizing an entire group of people. Although it is well written and innovative, I find this aspect of the report hard to ignore.

  2. Nov 2017
    1. to prescribe & control the duties & proceedings of all officers, servants & others with respect to the buildings, lands, appurtenances & other property & interests of the university

      The language here is interesting as it avoids using the word "slave". It instead describes the people who would work on the university as "officers, servants, and others". In other words, it tiptoes around the word in order to avoid the harsh reality of the situation. In fact, in this entire document, the word "slave" is only used once. And even here it is describing the property of someone else, rather than the university. I think that even though it was generally accepted at the time that slaves would be building this university, these writers still had to be careful with their language in order to get their proposal approved.

      https://www.whitehousehistory.org/questions/did-slaves-build-the-white-house

      This reminds me of the rhetoric used when building the White House. It was originally planned that Europeans would come to the U.S to build the White House, however this plan and talk quickly changed, and slaves were forced construct this landmark.

    2. his morals and faculties.

      This particular statement seems somewhat hypocritical. They wanted the students to improve "morally" but this very document describes how the university would be built in the heart of the white population, basically to promote segregation. It seems that improving morally did not include the ideologies of accepting others that were different. I would argue that it is difficult to improve in such a way without recognizing and learning about differences. I realize that this was a different time, but it still seems incorrect that someone could be considered in good "moral" standing while still believing they were superior to others. I believe the fact that the white students and slaves were often separated contributed to this ideology. Students were able to learn in an environment where they were separated from the realities of the world.

      http://www.vahistorical.org/collections-and-resources/garden-club-virginia/colleges-and-universities/university-virginia

      Here is an article that shows how the serpentine garden walls created a separate space. This space is where many slaves worked and kept students somewhat separated, contributing to the division that was students "growing morally" and still playing a part in a society where inequality thrived.

  3. Oct 2017
    1. Latin V Physics or Natural Philosophy Greek Chemistry Hebrew Mineralogy II Languages Modern French VI Botany Spanish Zoology Italian VII Anatomy German Medicine Anglo-Saxon

      When the students learned these languages, were they learned for an increase in vocabulary and being the student who knew all these languages or was it to enhance their knowledge on the cultures in which these languages belonged?

    2. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either.

      I find this quotation interesting compared to education as we know it today. At the University of Virginia we are tested in math and science, history and english. It is an interesting concept that education once included "to understand his duties to his neighbors and country" in the sense that they were being taught good morals in a place where only few were included.

    3. These are the objects of that higher grade of education, the benefits & blessings of which the legislature now propose to provide for the good & ornament of their country

      Jefferson established the University of Virginia because he recognized the importance of higher education and its ability to provide economic prosperity. This also relates to Jefferson's concept of calling graduation Final Exercises. Jefferson implemented this ideal because he believed that one never graduates from education, for life is all about growth and accumulating knowledge about the world around us. The University is the basis for higher education, but that intellectual development by no means stops after students leave the University. In fact, the education received at the University is just the beginning. https://news.virginia.edu/content/history-final-exercises

    4. The objects of this primary education determine its character & limits. These objects would be, To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either. To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciaries of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence with candor & judgment. And, in general, to observe with intelligence & faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens, being then the objects of education in the primary schools, whether private or public, in them should be taught reading, writing & numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration (useful in so many callings) and the outlines of geography and history, and this brings us to the point at which are to commence the higher branches of education, of which the legislature require the development: those for example which are to form the statesmen, legislators & judges, on whom public prosperity, & individual happiness are so much to depend. To expound the principles & structure of government, the laws which regulate the intercourse of nations, those formed municipally for our own government, and a sound spirit of legislation, which banishing all arbitrary & unnecessary restraint on individual action shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another. To harmonize & promote the interests of agriculture, manufactures & commerce and by well informed views of political economy to give a free scope to the public industry. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order. To enlighten them with mathematical and physical sciences which advance the arts & administer to the health, the subsistence & comforts of human life: And generally to form them to habits of reflection, and correct action, rendering them examples of virtue to others & of happiness within themselves.

      I think we can reflect a lot on these points. The education of thinking critically, understanding points of views from different perspectives and analyzing situation multilaterally is developed in class and under other academic atmosphere, but to accept people/opinions that are different from us is something people rarely accomplish. We tend to stay in our comfortable zone and keep the way we perceive the world as we were while there're diversities that waiting for us to uncover, but we failed to seize the opportunity because we don't think it's necessary to accept the difference. It's no something that can be changed through education or exercise, but something that is rooted deeply in the education system, under which the teaching of accepting racial differences and embracing different cultures is almost absent.

    5. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      I think this is a very interesting point made in the document. The University was built on a basis of morals and virtue. As you look through time, the standards at which morals and virtues were held has changed drastically. During the time this was written, morals and virtues were to be a good husband, a good son, to be a man of the house, and to educate yourself to provide for a family. Now, the morals and virtues of the University are to respect other students and to strive to educate and provide for yourself, regardless of who you are. The primary concept here is that morals and values have always been important to the University, but these morals and values have changed over time.

    6. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      I feel like the goal of many ideas (religious, political, historical) is to make sure the youth are involved in some way shape or form. I guess it is because of the cliche that the "youth are our future." Here, it is made sure that the minds of the youth are enlarged along with their morals. This reminds me of my Debating Islams engagement where we have discussed the 3 main radical ideologies, all in which push the participation of the youth and the passing of ideas to the youth.

      This also brings to mind the idea to "cultivate their morals." It kind bewilders me that their definition of morals made it okay to enslave a whole population of people because they felt they were inferior to them due to pigmentation of skin, or more of their lack of. You would think to have "morality" is to have compassion, to have some sense of "hmmm maybe this isn't right", "hmmm maybe they are human beings that do deserve rights."

    7. the degree of centrality to the white population of the state which alone then constituted the important point of comparison

      I don't find this statement to be particularly jarring at all. The trailblazer generation/the first black students to attend the University of Virginia faced extreme isolation. Gregory Swanson, the first African-American admitted to UVA, experienced extreme alienation. He wasn't allowed to live on Grounds, join fraternities, attend dances, or participate in other social events. As a result, he eventually withdrew due to the hostile climate (http://www.virginia.edu/woodson/projects/kenan/swanson/swanson.html). It doesn't surprise me that one of the main deciding factors when choosing UVA's location was the centrality of the white population. However, I do find it interesting and almost a little ironic that a large majority of the community immediately surrounding UVA is largely composed of minorities. Overall, this statement is not a revelation, but rather a disappointing reminder of what the school was founded on.

    8. Madison

      While conducting research for my public art proposal assignment for Aesthetic Engagement: Art: Inside/Out, I discovered that not only were Madison and Jefferson close colleagues, but they were also two United States Presidents that relied heavily on slave labor while in the White House [(https://www.whitehousehistory.org/press-room/press-fact-sheets/slavery-and-the-white-house). Thomas Jefferson was actually the first President to bring slaves into the White House and James Madison followed suit (https://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/20/jesse_holland_black_men_built_the).

    9. as men and citizens,

      The parenthesis "as men and citizens" underscores the identity of student body back in the 1800s, which is echoed by the responsibilities and learning goals espoused in later content. The reception of elite education, after all, is deemed to be a means of transforming young people into social, cultural as well as political leaders in society. Jefferson made it clear, whether or not intentional, and dealt with the tension between the obligations of citizenship and the obligations of humanity by referring to the phrase.

    10. the Virginia General Assembly

      The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World, established on July 30, 1619. This indicates that Jefferson is writing on behalf of the Commissioners to pledge a promising and well-planned future of the University of Virginia whose audience is possibly to playing a vital part in determining and aiding the healthy development of the university, which is why the language is formal, the information detailed, and the tone impersonal yet persuasive.

    11. that of proposing a plan for its buildings; and they are of opinion that it should consist of distinct houses or pavilions, arranged at proper distances on each side of a lawn of a proper breadth, & of indefinite extent in one direction at least, in each of which should be a lecturing room with from two to four apartments for the accommodation of a professor and his family: that these pavilions should be united by a range of Dormitories, sufficient each for the accommodation of two students only, this provision being deemed advantageous to morals, to order, & to uninterrupted study;

      What is not mentioned in this quotation describing the building structure, is the whereabouts of the enslaved individuals. Standing on the lawn, the pavilions appear to only be two stories tall. However, when standing from what we now call the gardens, it is obvious that the pavilions are three stories tall while the dormitories have small spaces underneath them as well. Jefferson designed this lay out specifically for the enslaved individuals to reside. The reasoning behind this was so that there would not be a disturbance for the white, male students and professors when looking out across grounds. By not mentioning this fact, it is obvious that the enslaved individuals were hidden from the universities appearance depict their crucial role in its making.

    12. opinion that the central point of the white population of the state is nearer to the central college,

      Our definition of white now is very different from what it was back in Jefferson's day. In my COLA, White: A Racial Category, we've been learning about the progression of what "White" actually is and who was considered "white" in America throughout its history. "White", during the time frame of the founding of UVA, was considered to be of Anglo- Saxon descent, according to Thomas Jefferson. Being white was very exclusive. Just being from Europe was not enough, because being an immigrant from Germany, Ireland, Italy, did not make you white. The acceptance of these people to be considered white did not take place until later in American history. One also had to be of a certain economic status so that you can afford the education.

      So the placement of this school wasn't quite just based on the "white population" but economic status, and directly who you descended from.

    13. This doctrine is the genuine fruit of the alliance between church and State, the tenants of which, finding themselves but too well in their present position, oppose all advances which might unmask their usurpations, and monopolies of honors, wealth and power, and fear every change, as endangering the comforts they now hold.

      Jefferson firmly believed in the separation of church and state, and it is interesting that he calls this doctrine "the genuine fruit of the alliance between church and State." The word State is capitalized while church isn't, which suggests that the state is more important. He continues to criticize the church, so it is is possible that his description of the doctrine being an alliance is used sarcastically. However, Jefferson did believe in a high being, so it is also possible that he believed the perfect balance of belief in the state and in God was what was in him.

    14. We should be far too from the discouraging persuasion, that man is fixed, by the law of his nature, at a given point: that his improvement is a chimæra

      There is an emphasis placed throughout the document that the University is not just a place for men to study academics, they grow in their personal lives as well. I believe this is a very important aspect of college, as most of what we learn does not come out of a textbook, they are life lessons learnt by interacting with different people in different situations, away from a comfortable environment (our homes).

    15. To know his rights; to exercise with order & justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciaries of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence with candor & judgement.

      This objective is striking because it stresses the importance for individuals to know of their rights and to exercise them accordingly. Because of its placement within the top five, the objective has major significance. Although individual rights are a principal component of the University, enslaved African-Americans worked on grounds during the time. The University makes the claim that individual rights are of upmost importance and yet, slavery was implemented at the University. This shows a clear contradiction within the University's said beliefs and its actions. The fact that slaves were not viewed as fully human is the probable cause as to why the University could not see the fault within denying slaves individual rights. It is important to note this history and the University's foundational principles, in order to further progression. https://vpdiversity.virginia.edu/sites/vpdiversity.virginia.edu/files/documents/SlaveryatUVaBrochure_FINAL.pdf**

    16. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      The notion that a higher education is designed to improve one's morality is something that has stuck with the University throughout its history. This can be seen through the commitment to honor that the University and its student body exhibits everyday (http://honor.virginia.edu/overview). This also builds off of the idea that the American system of public education was designed to cultivate proper, intelligent citizens that could function in beneficial ways to liberal democracy. A vital aspect of a successful democracy is an informed polity. Morals have significantly changed across time, but the infusion of morals within education is a common theme for the University no matter the time period.

    17. Hebrew

      I believe that Hebrew is included in the corse provided to show 'the equal footing' provided for all sects. In the 19th century Jewish people were discriminated against in Europe. Hebrew is central to Jewish society and their religion. By teaching Hebrew, the university shows its inclusiveness towards the Jewish community. And the notion of equal footing is a result of the permeating belief of equality. Another reason is that Hebrew can be used to study the connection between Judaism, Christianity and Abrahamic Religions.

    18. nd that on the death or resignation of a member, or on his removal by the President & Directors of the Literary fund, or the executive or such other authority as the legislature shall think best, such President & Directors or the Executive, or other authority should appoint a successor.

      The appointment of members to the Board of Visitors was left very vague. I feel like that sort of power should be more specified or it could lead to division between the various people put in power and confusion over appointments. Today, Virginia's governor appointments the members (as seen in the news article below), which provides a balance in power, similar to the appointment of Supreme Court justices. I would be interested to learn more about the history of refining the power of appointment. https://news.virginia.edu/content/governor-appoints-blue-hardie-jones-board-visitors-griffin-reappointed

    19. Education generates habits of application, order and the love of virtue; and controuls, by the force of habit, any innate obliquities in our moral organization. We should be far too from the discouraging persuasion, that man is fixed, by the law of his nature, at a given point: that his improvement is a chimæra, and the hope delusive of rendering ourselves wiser, happier or better than our forefathers were.

      These sentences really reminds me of the beginning of the book II of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, where Aristotle states that moral virtues are acquired by repetition of the coresponding acts. And the second sentence, I believe, is used to combat the belief that a man is fixed, that a good deed is done because there is a good man, and that there is just man first and then just deeds second. It is through the formation of habits, the habits that brings good and utils to people, that people start to do good deeds and just deeds. And through doing good deeds and just deeds, people become good and just, but not the other way round. So in a sort-of Aristotle way, UVA is devoted to the development of moral virtues and finally human happiness that originates from moral virtues.

    20. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      Here's a great example of the class warfare inherent in the text, as well as a hopeful sign of progress that hadn't yet reached fruition. By claiming that you can improve somebody's "morals and faculties" through education, the founders of the university were essentially offering a justification for the class system of the day; in essence, this statement implies that the ruling class (meaning wealthy and white) were better suited for their positions than their underlings because they had received an education, and thus possessed better intellectual "faculties" and a higher ethical podium from which they could act, thereby justifying their social positions and offering a means and justification for their children to take their place once they'd passed. Personally, I reject the notion that the well educated have a higher moral understanding, since I've never heard of anybody with only a G.E.D to their name declaring war on another country, but I think it's interesting how in the 1800s, people began to reject the notion that the ruling class was inherently better and were thus better suited to their positions; education began to socially supersede divine providence. This may not have catalyzed change at first, but it significantly expanded peoples' notions of who should and should not be in power. It's a meager edition to a document that most others might find horrifying with its blithe acceptance of the idea of class structures and slavery, but it provides a small hopeful note.

    21. To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business.

      I've always found it immensely ironic as to how universities always make a big show of acting in the public interest, despite the fact that more often than not they exist to keep education firmly within reach of the rich while far away from the poor. UVA, for instance, has a "watch-list" of people who are given a fast track to admission thanks to connections to wealthy university donors (Summary: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/at-u-va-a-watch-list-flags-vip-applicants-for-special-handling/2017/04/01/9482b256-106e-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_story.html?utm_term=.e0347fa7134b, Backing Documents: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/local/u-va-watch-list/2396/). That's certainly far away from the ideal of giving education to "every citizen", even by the backwards definition of citizen used in the 1820s (meaning to be both white and landowning). It's especially interesting that while the university and country as a whole has made immense progress socially since then, we still haven't even come close to coming within reach of the ideals the university was founded on.

    22. within the powers of a single professor.

      I found the variation in professors' workloads particularly interesting because it helps to illuminate both the importance and complexity of different subjects. For example, professors VI and VII only have to teach two classes each; VI focuses on farming and VII focuses on medicine. These classes led to very specific and important careers at the time (farming and medicine), but the classes that align with the liberal arts education that UVA strives for today are allocated fewer professors. It shows how some of the education goals of the University has changed since its founding. To learn more about UVA's liberal arts goals, read this statement of their purposes and goals: http://www.virginia.edu/sacs/references/UVaPurp&Goals.PDF

    23. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country

      This line shows Thomas Jefferson's focus on the state of Virginia, as he literally puts "& country" as an afterthought, with a focus on "neighbours". In Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (http://web.archive.org/web/20080914030942/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu:80/toc/modeng/public/JefVirg.html) he answers multiple questions about the state in detail about the way that it is run. Virginia was very important to him, often referring to it as his "country", and I think that shows as he makes this a priority of the University and students that attend it. Who does Jefferson consider as his "neighbours"? Do only certain people qualify as these neighbours and what exactly are ones duties to them? Are ones duties different to people who are not considered to be their neighbours? I think there is a lot of ambiguity in this sentence and I think the answers to the questions I pose are extremely different now then they were back then, which answers who the University was created for: rich, white men, and not people of color, people of low-income, or women.

    24. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      In my Engagements class, Thinking Like a Scientist, one of the main topics we discuss is how people make judgements of the information they read and how they decide what is valid. As were read over time, we aim to become better at distinguishing valid and invalid information. It seems that this goal of the university, “to improve by reading, his morals and faculties,” falls into alignment with this debate. I think that when we read, we are both absorbing the information presented and also formulating our own judgements and interpretations of it. This in turn helps us develop personal views about the world, thus cultivating some of our morals and faculties. By carefully evaluating a reading’s information and determining its validity, we are making judgements that align with certain morals and ways of thinking that we already have and are improving upon them. I like how even at the time of the university’s founding these ideas are present within the school’s academics, and now they are still present in a class in our new curriculum.

    25. Encouraged therefore by the sentiments of the Legislature, manifested in this statute, we present the following tabular statement of the branches of learning which we think should be taught in the University, forming them into groups, each of which are within the powers of a single professor.

      In Thomas Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia", Query 15, "Colleges, buildings, and roads," discusses some of his views and observations of what kinds of these things existed at the time. He starts off by giving an overview of the College of William and Mary, which once was "the only public seminary of learning in this state" (276). T.J. describes the structure of W&M's first schools of learning at the time, which consisted of only six schools or "professorships" (Law, medicine, mathematics, moral philosophy, modern languages, and Indian conversion to Christianity). He comments that it would be proper for the college to soon add more professorships, specifically more of those of science and the ancient languages and literature of the North. I would say that these observations of W&M served as some inspiration to Jefferson's ideas for UVA that he describes in the Rockfish report. The commissioners provide an outline of the desired branches of learning which consist of ten branches, covering significantly more material than the six offered by W&M at the time. Also, Jefferson sticks to his notion of the importance of the Ancient Languages and the Sciences which he suggested for W&M, which can be seen through the prevalence of these languages and a vast variety of scientific topics within the proposed branches. Jefferson used his observations of the only Virginian college of the time and expanded on its structure when designing his own university. http://web.archive.org/web/20110221131407/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=JefVirg.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=15&division=div1

    26. nd the board, after full enquiry & impartial & mature consideration, are of opinion that the central point of the white population of the state is nearer to the central college, than to either Lexington or Staunton by great & important differences, and all other circumstances of the place in general being favorable to it as a position for an University,

      We have learned that UVA was originally a location to educate whites, specifically those who came from plantations and places of slavery (according to UVA professor Kirt Von Daacke). Thomas Jefferson had the idea to create a fence around the slave gardens to protect students from seeing the institution of slavery, when in reality most the students grew up as a major part embracing this institution. Therefore, it makes sense that the creators of the Rockfish Gap Report would want the university close to its main demographic- being white students- especially because later they claim that they want parents to be within a day's travel from their students.

      http://uvamagazine.org/articles/unearthing_slavery_at_the_university_of_virginia

      This separation of students from slavery as an institution (while fairly unsuccessful) is evidenced by Thomas Jefferson's ban on students bringing their own slaves from home. The link above leads to an article from the UVA magazine where it explains, "Jefferson would not allow slaves to come with students.."

  4. Sep 2017
    1. men and citizens,

      Though the fight for coeducation at UVA started in the 1890s, women were not allowed to study at the university until 1969. UVA was an all male university until Virginia Anne Scott and three other women filed a lawsuit against the university for gender discrimination. When the issue first came up in 1895, the UVA administration denied entry to women, saying it would "physically unsex" women, leading to a "loss of power" in the home. When this idea was challenged again in 1967, the university said that allowing women into the university would "hurt the honor system." In May, 1969, Scott and three other omen filed their lawsuits when they were dined entry into the university. UVA tried to direct female applicants to a "sister school," but the women wanted to attend UVA for better education. The women won the case, and Scott became the first woman to enroll at UVA.

    2. Districts of such extent as that every parent should be within a days journey of his son at school, would be desirable in cases of sickness, and convenient for supplying their Ordinary wants and might be made to lessen sensibly the expense of this part of their education.

      UVA has evolved heavily from this previous stance that students should be close to their parents at all times. Now, college is a place where students go to learn and practice independence. UVA currently has an out of state program because students from all over the world should have the opportunity to study and learn on their own. It no longer makes sense for the university to limit themselves to the surrounding area of students who are eligible to attend just because their parents are within a day's travel to help them. The studiousness and reputation of the university has only grown with the extension of geographically eligible students and the encouragement of independence. https://vpsa.virginia.edu/communications/2017/important-message-parents-second-year-students Here is a link from the UVA website showing a letter written from President Teresa Sullivan to second year students where she states that the university (and specifically in the second year) is a place of "intellectual growth, social maturation, and independence".

    3. and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state:

      In this quote, the view of minorities in the state of Virginia is evident. Blacks were not accepted to the University until the 1950s and women were not accepted until 1970. Thomas Jefferson wrote of equality in the Declaration of Independence and condemned the Transatlantic Slave Trade, but only to benefit Virginia's economy. The Illusion of Progress (http://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=a31f53ca6a54439087085d6c313758a5) goes in depth about Thomas Jefferson's history with slavery and his motivations for equality, which are very clearly not for humanitarian purposes, but for the betterment of Virginia economically. As Thomas Jefferson played a large role in the founding of UVA, it is obvious to me that he would make it strictly a white university.

    4. The objects of this primary education determine its character & limits

      The irony of this particular qualifier of the educational experience the University was to provide to its students and staff is almost laughable if it wasn't so unfortunate. Many people today consider one of the strongest Constitutional arguments for diversity in higher education as fulfilling the need for differing perspectives and background (https://oied.ncsu.edu/equity/affirmative-action-in-education/). UVa was founded upon the notion of exclusivity to white males. This would never provide the same diversity of thought that the more, albeit still flawed, inclusive university. So the idea that the commissioners and founders of this institution noted how the "objects" of education would shape both its moral "character" as well as "limits" for growth exposes the dehumanization of anyone outside of the category of white man.