Topics > History

First Things First

From the first building on Grounds to the first known female member of the Seven Society, this is our list of some premiere moments in U.Va. history.

Fight or Flight

By analyzing dozens of bits of biographical data for 2,500 world leaders, Batten School Dean Allan C. Stam seeks to understand what makes leaders open to risk.

Presidential Treatment

After studying at perhaps the most architecturally famous school in America, a number of U.Va. graduates have gone on to work at presidential places and end up preserving more than just buildings.

Gibbons House Honors Once-Enslaved Couple

On June 10, the University dedicated its newest residence hall named for William and Isabella Gibbons, a married couple enslaved by two University of Virginia professors until their emancipation in 1865.

You Deserve a Break Today!

Take a look into the past, with commentary on select ads provided by U.Va. history professor and BackStory co-host Brian Balogh.

The Pioneer

Bernard Mayes had a long list of achievements before he even came to U.Va. But on Grounds, he is perhaps best remembered as a Cambridge gentleman in a tweed jacket who broke down barriers for gay students and colleagues alike.

Stories Evil Tells

Professor Alon Confino offers his thoughts on how humans use stories to explain our history and justify our motivations for doing things—the good things and especially the bad ones.

Secrets of the Spring Skies

In many cultures, from the Navajo to the Australian aborigines to the Aztec, stars not only represented glittering mythological stories, they also signaled the appropriate time to sow and to harvest, to celebrate or hunt.

The Many Faces of Cavman

A look at how U.Va.’s mascot has changed over time

A Civil Occupation

One hundred and fifty years ago this spring, the Union army marched into Charlottesville. Somehow, U.Va. was spared from its torches.

When Mem Rocked

Built in 1924 as a World War I memorial, Memorial Gym served as a multipurpose arena, hosting everything from wrestling matches to social dances.

Difference Maker: Lauranett Lee

Alumna searches for references to enslaved people to add them to “Unknown No Longer,” a public database of enslaved Virginians who appear in inventories, bills of sale, wills and other records.

Monticello Redux

A centenarian in Somers, Connecticut, has built a replica of Monticello next to his own estate.

U.Va. Marginalia

Check out more Book Traces books with U.Va. ties.

Admiral of the Antarctic

Before embarking on a naval career that would send him to the North and South poles, Rear Adm. Richard E. Byrd spent a year studying at U.Va.

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Imagination Without Limits

    Alumna Fri Forjindam imagines the fantastic, then brings it to life at amusement parks.

  • Up on the Roof

    The Rotunda renovation moved one step closer to completion as workers spent part of the summer tackling the next challenge: painting the roof.

  • World Class

    Former U.Va. women's soccer players Morgan Brian and Becky Sauerbrunn reunite with former coach Steve Swanson and bring home the World Cup.

  • Going the Distance

    The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index measures the long-term success of college graduates along three axes—and shows that U.Va. alumni come out ahead of their peers on each.

  • Virginia Wins College World Series

    The Cinderella-story Cavaliers defeated Vanderbilt in three games to take home the program’s first national title.

  • Presidential Treatment

    After studying at perhaps the most architecturally famous school in America, a number of U.Va. graduates have gone on to work at presidential places and end up preserving more than just buildings.

  • Nesting

    Architecture alumnus Michael Perry draws inspiration from birds to design new homes—that attach to the sides of other buildings.

  • Bringing the Team Together

    Kristin J. Behfar offers three helpful tips for how teams can communicate more effectively and function more smoothly.