PHOTOPHILE- Billion with a 'b': UVA sets groundbreaking fund goal

You heard it right– it's $3 billion, with a "b." That's the goal of the ambitious fund-raising project announced Friday, September 29, at a meeting of the Board of Visitors in the Rotunda– and UVA is already a third of the way there. 

Part of the daylong celebration was a 3pm groundbreaking ceremony for the new South Lawn project, the most ambitious construction project on the University's central grounds in almost a century. Donors present and future surveyed scale models of the buildings for the complex that will be the academic center of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Fifty million dollars for that little line item has already been donated by 100 families.

Not to be upstaged, the super-secret Seven Society delivered its $1 million contribution with a shovel and a box that Ed Ayers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was asked to unlock. 

The Sevens threw in the shovel to be part of the groundbreaking ceremony– the emotional highlight of the day, with several standing ovations and a few tears when speakers described their feelings about the "sacredness" of the school.

Of course, no UVA shindig could come off without words from you-know-who, and David E.  Gibson had the honor of quoting TJ's take on some current and choice concepts: "Individual liberty is a crux of government, not to be lost, and an educated public places a high value on freedom."

UVA alumni view the model of the new South Lawn Project.

Thomas Farrell II, Rector of UVA Board of Visitors

UVA alums congratulate all the donors.

John Casteen III, UVA President, looks pretty happy.

John Casteen III, Edward Ayers, Jeffery Nuechterlein, John Nau III, and David Gibson

Thomas Farrell II, Edward Ayers, Jeffery Nuechterlein, John Nau III, David Gibson, and John Casteen III diggin' it.