4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. under the style & title of the Rector & visitors of the University of Virginia,

      I find it very fascinating that Jefferson choose to not appoint a president of the University. There was not a president of the University until Edwin Alderman was appointed in 1904, almost 100 years after the founding. Jefferson's decision to not appoint a president is one decision he made which demonstrates his beliefs in completely democratic systems. Jefferson was a core contributor to the foundation of the Democratic-Republican Party, a party which criticized the Federalist party for placing too much power in the central government and harboring aristocratic attitudes. He may have seen the process of appointing a university president as too monarchal, a criticism which is still present today. Many students, specifically at UVA, feel detached from the president and the decisions that are made by the administration. The advantages and disadvantages of appointing versus electing a university president remain debatable. Is it inefficient to have students elect a university president or is it important for the student's to have a say in who their president is?<br> https://www.britannica.com/topic/Democratic-Republican-Party

  2. Nov 2017
    1. the author of all the relations of morality, & of the laws & obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics; to which adding the developements of these moral obligations,

      I think that the emphasis Thomas Jefferson placed on the importance of ethical learning, shows a lot about his ideas pertaining to the make up of the University. His clear statement that there would be no "professor of Divinity" and instead a "professor of ethics" shows his strong thoughts about the separation between religion and public education. Additionally, the strong focus he placed on ethical engagement can be seen today in many of the foundational concepts taught in the classes here. This curriculum has an entire course requirement devoted to "ethical engagement," which may have stemmed from Jefferson's value of ethics. Furthermore, the attitude towards ethics and honor is strong at UVA, also stemming from Thomas Jefferson's values, which are clearly seen in this passage. It is fascinating how Jefferson's individual values have made up so much of the culture at UVA. Do other schools have a moral figurehead as strong as Jefferson at UVA? It would be interesting to look at those historical figures and analyze how/ to what extent they relate to the overall culture at that specific school.

  3. Oct 2017
    1. It is supposed probable that a building of somewhat more size in the middle of the grounds may be called for in time, in which may be rooms for religious worship under such impartial regulations as the visitors shall prescribe, for public examinations, for a Library, for the schools of music, drawing, and other associated purposes.

      Jefferson's decision to not have a church at the center of the University stands out from other universities constructed at the time. For example, Christianity formed a large part of the foundations for the College of William and Mary. At UVA, the chapel seems to be located in an odd place, slightly off the lawn and does not seem to be constructed in a meaningful and planned spot. When I looked into the construction of the chapel, I found that it was built in the 1880s after a successful campaign to address the spiritual needs of the University community. I also found it interesting that after the chapels dedication a professor proclaimed that while the Rotunda represented “in cold though classic beauty the outlines of a pagan temple,” the chapel aspired to heaven with its “pointed window” and “flying buttress.” The architecture of schools such as William & Mary, Harvard, and Princeton seem to resemble more of the traditional christian buildings, while the architecture of UVA does not. This serves as evidence of Thomas Jefferson's ideas for a university with learning, rather than religion, at its center. https://explore.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/show/architecture-after-jefferson/the-romantic-picturesque/8

    2. These institutions, intermediate between the primary schools and university, might then be the passage of entrance for Youths into the University,

      I thought that this phrase from the report was fascinating because it made me question what, in 1819, admittance to a university entailed. With less prestigious schools and less opportunities for extracurriculars, it seemed that in the early 1800s admittance to a university would be much less competitive. The Rockfish Gap Report seemed to explain that a requirement for admittance to the University would be the District or preliminary schools, and then these, "might be the passage of entrance for Youths into the University." It seemed that almost if the student attended these preliminary schools they would have immediate access to the University, considering they had the money and means for it. This way of accessing a higher education that was present in the day seemed to be very limited to a category of rich, white, males. This group of people would be the only ones able to access these secondary or district schools, and therefore the only group of people who would even have a chance for admittance to the University. I wondered if remnants of the ways of admittance in the foundation of the university has contributed to the stereotype of white elitists that has been present at UVA for many generations.