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University of Virginia

The Nation’s Best Public University

For nearly two centuries, the University of Virginia has been a Charlottesville jewel, nurturing young minds in the beautiful central Virginia countryside.

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is an institute of higher education dedicated to developing “leaders who are well-prepared to help shape the future of the nation.”

Today, the University chooses the most promising students for their ability to fulfill Jefferson’s hope for strong, independently-thinking leaders. The student population is a diverse and exceptional addition to the Charlottesville community.

Since its beginning, UVA has been home many to prominent and influential thinkers and for two hundred years, the University has been at the heart of Charlottesville, both physically and figuratively. After Jefferson founded his “Academical Village” a short distance from the heart of town, the town center shifted accordingly.

Upon its founding, Jefferson said UVA would be “…an establishment which I contemplate as the future bulwark of the human mind in this hemisphere,” and the school proudly caries on the Jeffersonian tradition today.

The University of Virginia has been recognized internationally for its dedication to providing a thorough and well-rounded education. It was the first educational institution to offer astronomy and philosophy; UVA’s progressive ideology has made it a leader for prestigious schools across the country.

As one of the eight original Public Ivies, the University has preserved its high ranking; since U.S. News and World Report began ranking public universities, the University of Virginia has been ranked either first or second, and UVA is consistently put on the list of the top 25 American universities across the board.

Its original Board of Visitors was manned by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, and the University has dozens of notable alumni, including Robert Kennedy, Larry Sabato, Woodrow Wilson, Tina Fey, Katie Couric, and Edgar Allen Poe.

Besides exemplary academics, the University of Virginia boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. Stretches of lush grass shaded by stately oaks are interrupted only by the University’s historic buildings. Today, UVA remains the only university to be designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, a title given only to places of special cultural or physical significance.