Since the death of University of Virginia admissions dean John A. “Jack” Blackburn in January, there have been many remembrances—an overflowing memorial service, a scholarship fund for low-income students, a Board of Visitors resolution, a memorial tree planted on the Lawn—and a tree planted in his honor by an alumnus in Brazil.

Perhaps the most fitting tribute, however, is the final entering class that he helped shape. This year’s incoming first-year students have raised the bar in terms of both their academic qualifications and the diversity within their ranks, said Blackburn’s successor, Gregory Roberts.

“It’s a fitting end to a tough year,” Roberts said in his Peabody Hall office. “He’s always on our minds, and we wanted to bring in a class that reflects his legacy.