5 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. Districts of such extent as that every parent should be within a days journey of his son at school,

      I find this interesting because the University now seems to support such independence and student governance. Having parents so close seems like it would go against this goal, especially since the students are not allowed to have their slaves with them.

    2. 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.

      This part is interesting to me beacuse one of the goals of Jefferson was to educate the men that would shape this country and be good example to others. The virutes that they learned at this school would be carried with them throughout the rest of their lives. While these virtures include honesty and curiousty and scholarship, they also include slavery and sexism. The reputation of this school is one of the antibellum South, where white men were respectful but often only to other white men and sometimes women. The history of slavery in this school helps us understand why racism is so deeply imbeded in its past and even in the past of Virginia and the South, as the graduates of UVa were meant to be prime examples honorable men.

    3. In entering on this field, the commissioners are aware that they have to encounter much difference of opinion as to the extent which it is expedient that this institution should occupy. Some good men, and even of respectable information, consider the learned sciences as useless acquirements; some think that they do not better the condition of men; and others that education like private & individual concerns, should be left to private & individual effort; not reflecting that an establishment, embracing all the sciences which may be useful & even necessary in the various vocations of life, with the buildings & apparatus belonging to each, are far beyond the reach of individual means, & must either derive existence from public patronage or not exist at all.

      This passage is interesting becasue it acknowledges that the formation of this University and the values it holds dear are not common at the time this was written. The founders have to deal with critiques from other scholars, who do not find the sciences nearly as important as the school is making them out to. This just shows that even in its founding, UVa was breaking boundaries when it came to education, not just in the regard of religion. The focus of the school was to better the youth of this country in all academics and hence help the country grow and develop in a unique way. It seems that Jefferson wanted the students to be able to study what they enjoyed and what they believed would help change the world. This is sort of the first liberal arts school, and for its time was going up against numerous forces.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. In conformity with the principles of our constitution, which places all sects of religion on an equal footing

      It is interesting to note the connections between the country's constitution and the founding "rules" of the University of Virginia, but at the same time the similarity seems very natural. Being Jefferson's university, it would make sense for the school to have principles similar to that of our nation at its foundation. Jefferson played such a vital role in the formation of our country, and many of his core values that are present in his writings for the states are present in the school. Freedom of religion, as well as more specifically separation of church and state, is one of the main reasons for the creation of the United States. This "conformity with the principles of our constitution" also explains a few other values present in the early days of the University. Most of the students that attended the school were the sons of wealthy land owners, who were very much a part of the slave culture of the country. Their treatment and outlook on slaves, as well as freed slaves, lines up with the outlook held by much of the nation. This attitude was no where banned in the constitution, and would not be absent at a institution that aligns itself with that document. Luckily, this school has changed over time, just as our nation has. While it has taken many years for black students, and then women, to be able to even apply to the school, UVA has grown just as the United States has. While the school, and the country, are far from perfect, it is interesting to note the connection to the constitution and America's core values even today. I think this line, while maybe not intentionally, is important in trying to ensure a conformity in the school with the values of our nation, and an ability for us as students and citizens to change them.

    2. with the sentiments of the legislature in favor of freedom of religion manifested on former occasions, we have proposed no professor of Divinity; and tho rather, as the proofs of the being of a god, the creator, preserver, & supreme ruler of the universe, the author of all the relations of morality, & of the laws & obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics;

      One of UVa's most unique features, especially in its early days, is that the school is not centered around religion. Most schools were set up with a church at the center, while the University of Virginia was built with the Rotunda, which was originally a library, at its center. This focuses the teaching on rational thought - facts, experimentation, data - more than intangible beliefs, making the school more secular and allowing for a unique freedom when it comes to education. Members of the University could ask questions and complete research on topics that may not be allowed in schools that determine their core beliefs from a religion text. This quality of separation of church and state (or in this case education) goes hand in hand with the foundation of our country. The colonists wanted to be able to practice what ever religion they desired, as students at this university should be able to practice any religion they desired. While it is likely that the church was still a large part of the daily lives of students, professors and administrators at the university, it was not dictated that any class or subject should be connected to or limited by certain religious beliefs.