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Jefferson Medals awarded in absentia

Close-up of a medal with Thomas Jefferson in profile and the words 'The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal' around the edge
Sanjay Suchak

Groundbreakers in architecture, citizen leadership, global innovation and law have won the 2020 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal. The awards are presented annually by the presidents of UVA and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, which owns and operates Jefferson’s home. This year’s awards were given in absentia after the pandemic forced the cancellation of an April celebration.

“Together,” President James E. Ryan (Law ’92) said in a statement, the winners “have devoted their lives to areas of study and practice that Thomas Jefferson cared deeply about.”

This year’s winners in architecture are Marion Weiss (Arch ’79) and Michael Manfredi. The co-founders of New York–based WEISS/MANFREDI are known for projects that redefine the relationship between the built and natural worlds. 

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, former USAID administrator, won the citizen leadership award. He is president of The Rockefeller Foundation, which seeks to improve the well-being of people around the world.

Ted Turner, media pioneer and philanthropist, was honored for global innovation for his work to promote sustainability and other charitable efforts.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor won the award in law and was recognized for her “deep concern” for the law’s real-world impacts on Americans, School of Law Dean Risa L. Goluboff said in a statement.