University of Virginia

University of Virginia

University of Virginia is also known as UVA according to It was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. Conceived before 1800, it is remarkable in the history of the United States for being the first to offer degrees in subjects such as architecture, astronomy, and philosophy. Its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences was the first engineering school in the United States associated with a university.


The school laid the cornerstone of its first building in late 1817, and the Commonwealth of Virginia founded the university on January 25, 1819. In the presence of James Madison, the Marquis de Lafayette declared Jefferson the “father” of the University. of Virginia in the inaugural banquet of the school in 1824. The first classes of the university are realized the 7 of March of 1825. Other universities had allowed only three options of specialization: Medicine, Right and Religion. Under Jefferson’s leadership, the University of Virginia became the first in the United States to allow specialization in fields as diverse as astronomy, architecture, botany, philosophy, and political science.

Jefferson explained: “This institution is based on the unlimited freedom of the human mind. Because here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error, as long as reason is left free to fight it.”

Its design for the campus includes a domed central rotunda, which serves as the library with classrooms, and two rows of pavilions containing student and faculty rooms and houses on either side of the premises (campus).

University of Virginia


The university is governed by an honor code, known as the Honor System. It is totally controlled by the students themselves. A student considers himself honest and upright and behaves politely at all times. A student never lies, steals, or cheats, both in his academic and personal life. This system allows teachers to submit tests or assignments to do outside of class, even if they prohibit the use of help from books or other students. The students comply with it to the letter, and return the works signed with the phrase “For my honor as a student that I have not given or received help in carrying out this work / exam” (On my honor as a student, I have neither given nor received aid on this assignment / examination in English). This honor system also allows students to buy as much as they want in the stores and cafeterias of the university, paying when they want, with the total assurance that they will. However, a single violation of the honor system that can be confirmed means immediate expulsion from the university, without any possibility of being readmitted again, and a mole on the record difficult to overcome before other institutions and companies in the United States.

The University of Virginia has about 5 million volumes in its Library system. Its Electronic Text Center, created in 1992, has put more than 70,000 books online, as well as 350,000 images. These electronic texts are accessible to anyone and, as of 2002, more than 37,000 daily visits were received (6,000 daily visitors to physical libraries)

Personalities who studied at the University

  • Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States
  • Robert F. Kennedy, candidate for the presidency of the United States in 1968
  • Edward Kennedy, United States Senator
  • Edgar Allan Poe, poet
  • Ralph Sampson, basketball player
  • Claudio Reyna, soccerplayer
  • Javier Solana, Former Secretary General of NATO
  • Linda R. Watkins, biochemist, 2010 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.


  • It is the only North American university designated as a World Heritage Site.
  • Thomas Jefferson, its founder, also made the architectural design, hired the first professors, some of them brought from Europe, and was its first Rector.
  • The University of Virginia is on land that belonged to President James Monroe, who sold it when he moved into the White House.

Although the University of the Seven Seas was licensed by the state of California to issue transcripts and diplomas, it was never fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, thus preventing student credit from being transferable or recognized by any another school. So in 1965 Hughes decided to affiliate with Chapman University in Orange, California, which provided the program with academic credentials and the new life it needed as a World Campus afloat.

In the late 1960s, Dr. MA Griffiths, Professor of Middle Eastern history at Chapman, was appointed Dean and Vice Chancellor for Academic, (later Vice President for International Studies) and led the World Campus afloat.

In 1969, Dr. Griffiths sent his associate, Dr. Lloyd Lewan to travel as Dean on board the ship. This would be the first of many trips for Dr. Lewan, who became Director of Operations and associate dean for the program. Dr. John Tymitz served at the time as Associate Director of Operations.

In 1966, the Holland America Line exchanged the MS Seven Seas for a new ship called the SS Ryndam, the same original name for the floating university. But in 1970, the Holland America Line went through a reorganization and withdrew its ship from the program.


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