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Jefferson Medalists Speak

Loretta Lynch, recipient of the Jefferson Foundation’s medal in law Dan Addison

On Founder’s Day in April, the University honored this year’s Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medalists. The awards are the highest external honors handed out by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the University (which grants no honorary degrees).

Medal in Citizen Leadership:
Alice Waters

Before a crowd at Monticello, the advocate of local agriculture and creator of the Edible Schoolyard program in Berkeley, California, talked about the connection she feels to Thomas Jefferson through food. “What we really need is a second American revolution,” said Waters, “but this one, rather than a call to arms, it’s a call to farms.”

Medal in Law:
Loretta Lynch

Lynch, who spoke at the Law School, was the first African-American woman to serve as the U.S. attorney general. Prior to that, she was U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Medal in Global Innovation:
N.R. Narayana Murthy

Murthy is considered one of the greatest entrepreneurs of his generation. He co-founded Infosys, the multinational corporation that created the system for IT services outsourcing in India. “I want a stone on my grave that says: ‘This was a fair person,’” Murthy said at the Darden School of Business. “Fairness, to me, in every transaction, is extremely important.”

From left, medalists N.R. Narayana Murthy, Loretta Lynch, Alice Waters and Yvonne Farrell Dan Addison

Medals in Architecture:
Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara

The co-medalists founded Grafton Architects in Dublin, Ireland. The firm has designed numerous academic buildings, winning World Building of the Year Award in 2008 for a project at Bocconi University in Italy. Farrell spoke at Old Cabell Hall Auditorium.