Students are busy now with midterms, and so you may not be receiving much news back home. I hope this letter helps you stay in touch with events on the Grounds.
One year from now, the University will begin to celebrate its bicentennial. October 6, 2017, will mark the 200th anniversary of the laying of the University's cornerstone, and the commemorations will continue through January, 2019, which will mark the bicentennial of the granting of the University's charter.
The classes of students who take their degrees in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 will add a commemorative zipper pull to their academic regalia. Students will be able to keep these zipper pulls as mementos of their graduation. In consultation with a group of students and staff, we have developed three possible designs for the commemorative zipper pull. On Monday, October 17, we will open an online selection mechanism for the students in these classes to register their preference among the three designs. The selection form will close on Friday, October 21. We want you to know about this opportunity if your future graduate is in these classes – please encourage them to select their preferred zipper pull design.
As a reminder, Family Weekend will be November 4-6. The schedule of events for Family Weekend is available here, and we hope you will consider coming. Students work hard to prepare performances and displays for this weekend. Our acclaimed Virginia Film Festival will be the same weekend, and the schedule for the films is here. Tickets go quickly, so if you are interested, please order your tickets soon.
As part of Family Weekend, at 9:30 on Saturday morning, November 5, I will speak to parents, and we will have the opportunity for questions and answers with University administrators and student services leaders. I encourage you to attend.
Two weeks ago, we reopened our beautiful Rotunda, and it is in heavy use by students who want to study. There are 20 courses scheduled in the Rotunda this semester, and there will likely be even more next semester. If you come to visit the Grounds, I hope you will make time to visit the Rotunda.
I share my best wishes for a wonderful fall, and I hope to see you in Charlottesville soon.
Teresa A. Sullivan