Safety at Your Fingertips: App Offers ‘Virtual Escort,’ Access to Resources

It’s fall, so the sun sets earlier across Grounds. The lonely walk home from a study session or sporting event might be in darkness. But with a quick swipe across your phone screen, your friends can virtually tag along to see you home safely. That “virtual escort” is through an app called Rave Guardian. University Police are urging everyone with a UVA ID – students, faculty and staff – to consider downloading the free app to their smartphones.

University Explores Storing Heat in Underground Wells

Geoexchange is a hole in the ground in which you store heat. Or, in this case, a hole in the Grounds. UVA’s Energy and Utilities Department is drilling test holes in the ground under Grounds to measure its viability to store hot air.

Let There Be Light

What had originally been designed as light wells for the original Alderman Library are turning into skylit study courts and presentation halls.

For several weeks, Kevin O’Donnell of Vector Constructs of Wichita, Kansas, and Jose Sanchez, along with the workers on the Alderman Library renovation, have been assembling and installing 47- by 31-foot skylights in both the east and west courtyards of the Depression-era library.

Workers assembled the 17,000-pound skylight frames on the ground before a crane lifted them and nestled them into place. After workers secured the frames and placed concrete around the edges, they installed the 40 glass panes, each roughly 6 by 8 feet – by affixing suction cups to the 900-pound panes and hoisting them into place with a crane.

Several Shovelfuls of Soil Signal Start of UVA Hotel Construction Project

University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and several University and University of Virginia Foundation officials ceremonially broke ground Thursday for a $130.5 million hotel and conference center to be built in UVA’s Emmet-Ivy entrance corridor.

Once completed, both the hotel and conference center and the School of Data Science will anchor the nearly 15-acre parcel that will serve as a central point to University Grounds, as well as an entrance corridor for visitors to the University.

UVA is Tops in Generosity. Let's Keep the Streak Alive.


If generosity were a sport, the University of Virginia would be ranked No. 1 in the state, a position it has held for the past 24 years. University leaders hope to extend that streak to 25 this year and they are seeking the help of every UVA employee to make it happen. Today marks the kickoff of the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign, or CVC. It is among the best opportunities for UVA employees to support the nonprofits doing important work in the Charlottesville area and across the state. In the past 24 years, UVA employees have raised $18 million, surpassing not only every Virginia college and university, but all state agencies.

With BOV Approval, Darden's Vision for Its Grounds Comes Into Focus

The vision for the future of the Darden School of Business has become clearer as the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors recently approved a refreshed version of the school’s ambitious master plan. Darden’s newest master plan includes the development of a centrally located “academic innovation hub” connecting existing Darden buildings, plus renovations to faculty and student learning spaces, Grounds enhancements to promote accessibility and wellness, and development of residential housing to more fully deliver on Darden’s world-class residential MBA experience.

'If These Walls...' Mem Gym Has Hosted Champions, Icons and Celebrities

Memorial Gymnasium, the center of athletic and social life at the University of Virginia for a large segment of the 20th century, is getting a facelift. A 2019 survey of the gymnasium’s exterior revealed water damage and cracks in its masonry, cast stone and stucco elements. The renovation project, which has wrapped the building in scaffolding, is repairing the damage, including replacing the pedestals on top of the east-west façade capitals, replacing roof capstones and flashing, repointing masonry and patching stucco and concrete bands.

Renovations Slated for University Chapel

For the first time since the 1950s, renovations are planned for the University of Virginia Chapel. The 137-year-old Gothic structure will be undergoing work to clean, restore and refinish historic surfaces throughout its interior, including wainscotting, chair rails and baseboards, doors, elements of the wood ceiling, brick arches, and its columns. The building will be closed for about six months starting Jan. 2.

Student Turns Dream of Memorial Benches into Concrete Reality

To change the lives of future students – that is the lofty goal of University of Virginia fourth-year student Sanjeev Kumar’s project to install memorial benches around Grounds dedicated to groundbreaking faculty, staff and students. “What I didn’t realize is how it might impact the families of the honorees,” he said. Kumar, who was one of three recipients this spring of John T. Casteen III Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Leadership Awards, recently attended the first of seven dedications to celebrate the reality of his dream, the Memorial Benches Initiative.

Photos: UVA Spends a Day Giving Back to the Community

Swapping office attire for work clothes, dozens of members of the University of Virginia community spent several hours Wednesday cleaning up, sprucing up and fixing up properties all across the region. The volunteer effort was part of the local United Way of Greater Charlottesville’s annual Laurence E. Richardson Day of Caring that matched volunteers with work projects at area schools, trails, nonprofits, and a host of other locations. UVA volunteers fanned out to nearly 50 different spots to lend a helping hand to the community.

What's the True Story of Brooks Hall? This Architectural Historian Has the Answer

...Brooks Hall was a gift to the University, the first building donated by an individual, Lewis Brooks of Rochester, New York. It was designed by John R. Thomas of Rochester – who also designed the Rochester Theological Seminary and Sibley Hall at the University of Rochester – as a natural history museum, to feature a collection created by professor Henry Ward, who collected artifacts from around the world and sold the collections as a business...

'A Little More Space.' McIntire Breaks Ground on Eye-Popping Expansion Project


The University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce on Friday broke ground on an expansion project worth over $100 million that will include the construction of Shumway Hall, a reimagined Cobb Hall, and many green spaces and meeting areas.

UVA Board of Visitors Approves Credit to In-State Undergraduate Students

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors today approved a one-time $690 credit to in-state undergraduate students for the 2022-2023 academic year. The credit is equivalent to the 4.7% increase in tuition that was adopted in 2021 for this academic year. Tuition and mandatory fees for 2022-2023 were approved by the Board of Visitors in December 2021.

Accolades: Fobes Lists University, UVA Health Among VIrginia's Top Employers

UVA Health and the University of Virginia both rank among the top 13 large employers in Virginia, according to a new ranking compiled by Forbes magazine and Statista, a marketing research company. At No. 8 overall in Virginia, UVA Health was the state’s top-rated health system. The University ranked No. 13 overall, second among colleges and universities, just behind the College of William & Mary.

Common Chimney, Hearth Restored to Lawn Room 50

For the first time in 146 years, Room 50 on the University of Virginia’s historic Lawn will soon have a functioning fireplace. University workers are restoring Lawn rooms 48 and 50 to their original configurations, with fireplaces sharing a common chimney. These are the only two rooms on different elevations of the Lawn terraces that share a chimney.

To accurately recreate the original spaces and features, University architects and workers had to take a deep dive into the history of the rooms and the people who lived there – a history drawn both from archival records and “ghost marks” of previous architectural modifications.

University Transit Service Adjusts Schedule for Fall Semester

As the University of Virginia enters the second week of the fall semester, the University Transit Service, which operates the University’s bus system, has enhanced some of its offerings. Fall weekday UTS service features seven routes with more than 7,500 people boarding on a typical weekday.

Workers Skilled in Older Techniques Preserve the University's Historic Fabric

Since the 1820s, the Academical Village, the centerpiece of the University of Virginia, has housed faculty and students. And since the beginning, there has been a succession of skilled workers (some of whom where enslaved) maintaining the property – masons, plasterers and carpenters who have worked with the historic fabric of UVA.

And because the Academical Village also is a World UNESCO Heritage Site, a rare distinction reserved only for culturally significant landmarks, maintaining the historic structures requires meticulous care.

Housing Changes Are a Breath of Fresh, Cool Air - Especially for Lawnies

Days from now, some 4,000 University of Virginia first-year students and their families will begin arriving to unload clothes, bedding, refrigerators and sundry other items that will help make residence hall rooms feel like home for the coming academic year.

UVA’s Housing & Residence Life department, Facilities Maintenance and other units of the University have been hard at work preparing – and now they’re ready for the arrival.

Room for Improvement: New Effort Solicits Workers' Innovative Ideas for UVA

Adam Griggs and Patrick Wood are used to hearing from employees with concerns and ideas about the work environment in their roles as co-chairs of the University of Virginia Staff Senate. But after months of isolation and remote work due to the pandemic, they noticed a different tone crept in last year. They kept hearing that the staff felt disconnected, discouraged or overwhelmed, some even feeling a sense of helplessness.

ROSE Program, Reuse Store Offer Secondhand Office Supplies for Back-to-Schoolers

Back to school season usually means buying school supplies. The University of Virginia’s ROSE program offers a cost-free alternative to anyone in the community. The Reusable Office Supply Exchange program is designed to provide new and used office supplies to students, staff, faculty and community members. It offers a supply of pen, pencils, desk organizers, frames, calculators, sleeve protectors, mugs and cups, binders, folders, toner and ink cartridges, paper organizers and other office and school supplies. And everything is free.

Signed Beam 'Tops Out' Future Home of Data Science

Workers for Gilbane Building Company hoisted and placed the last of the high steel atop the University of Virginia’s School of Data Science building, after the beam had been festooned with flags and signatures. The school’s new home will anchor the University’s entrance corridor on the along Ivy Road.

UVA Volunteers Help Build 'Tool Library' for Community's Benefit

Have you ever started a project, only to be stymied by a lack of the proper tools? The Charlottesville Tool Library might be your solution. “Tool libraries are part of a larger network, part of the do-it-yourself movement and shared resources and the right-to-repair movement,” said Melissa Goldman, fabrication facilities manager at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and one of the founders of the library. “It helps empower neighbors to start a group within your community to share tools. It provides access and training … to support homeowners and entrepreneurs and blossoming makers of all sorts.” The tool library opened this spring and currently has about 100 members and an inventory of more than 500 tools.

A Hot,Wet Season Means a Heavy Workload for University Gardeners

At the University of Virginia, time seems to slow in the summer, when many fewer students populate Grounds. But summer is a busy time in UVA’s Jeffersonian gardens, when warm, wet weather hastens plant growth – including weeds that sprout rapidly and shrubs that encroach upon walkways.

UVA Electrician Drills a Well in His Kenyan Hometown

Peter Chege has a vision. Born in a rural Kenyan village, he wants to bring that village into the modern world. With the help of some friends, he may do it.

Hoos Building Bridges Awards Honor Leadership in Collaboration

Some recipients of the University of Virginia’s Hoos Building Bridges Awards this year stepped up during the pandemic and helped the University meet unprecedented challenges. Others are making progress in several of UVA’s strategic areas, from anti-racism efforts to sustainability improvements. The awards celebrate cross-disciplinary partnerships and projects among UVA employees, and honor recipients for their leadership, collegiality and efforts in establishing strong relationships that help get things done across Grounds. This time, 11 individuals and two teams have received the award and will be honored at a reception later this summer.