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New Rector, Board of Visitors Members Begin Terms

George Keith Martin, current rector of the Board of Visitors
George Keith Martin (Col '75) began his two-year term as rector of the Board of Visitors on July 1. Martin, a Richmond attorney, is the first African-American rector in the University's history. He is a member of the board of Regent University School of Law and has served on James Madison University's board as well as the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners and the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education.

A resident of Hanover County, Va., Martin is the managing partner of McGuireWoods' Richmond office, the law firm's largest. He earned his law degree at Howard University School of Law in 1978.

"This University has important work ahead, including the implementation of a new strategic plan, a new financial model and the everyday priority of ensuring that UVA provides the best education possible to our students and the best care possible to patients," says Martin.

Martin succeeds Helen E. Dragas (Col '84, Darden '88), who will remain a board member. William H. Goodwin Jr. (Darden '88) began his term as vice rector.

The following three new members were also appointed:

  • John A. Griffin (Com '85) of New York is president of Blue Ridge Capital, an investment partnership he founded in 1996. He is a member of the McIntire School of Commerce Foundation Board of Trustees and a visiting professor at the University, as well as founding board chair of iMentor. He received his MBA from Stanford University.
  • Kevin J. Fay (Col '77) of McLean Va., is president of Alcalde & Fay, a government and public affairs consulting firm. He earned a law degree in 1981 from American University.
  • Frank Genovese (Darden '74) of Midlothian, Va., is president of The Rothbury Corp., a Richmond-area investment company. Genovese previously served as a trustee of the Darden School Foundation, chairman of the Darden School Foundation Building and Finance Committee and as a visiting lecturer at Darden. He earned a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Darden. Genovese also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

UVA Astronomer Wins Shaw Prize

University of Virginia astronomer John Hawley Photo by Cole Geddy
University of Virginia astronomer John Hawley and former UVA astronomer Steven Balbus, now at the University of Oxford, have been named co-winners of the 2013 Shaw Prize in Astronomy. The prize is considered Asia's equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

Hawley and Balbus will share the $1 million award and address the Shaw Prize selection committee during a ceremony Sept. 23 in Hong Kong.

Hawley and Balbus are being recognized for their groundbreaking discovery in the early 1990s of the mechanism that accounts for the process of accretion, a widespread phenomenon in astrophysics that plays a key role in star formation and contributes to the growth of supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. Astrophysical systems powered by accretion are some of the most energetic phenomena in the universe, including quasars.

Dean Woo Wins Zintl Award

Meredith Woo, dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Dean Meredith Jung-En Woo, who heads the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, will receive the 2013 Elizabeth Zintl Award from the UVA Women's Center.

The Women's Center presents the leadership award annually in memory of Elizabeth Zintl, an accomplished writer and journalist who served as chief of staff in the Office of the University President. The award, given to a female employee at UVA, honors the high degree of professionalism, creativity and commitment that characterized Zintl's contributions to the University.

Woo, who became dean in 2008, is credited with improving the quality of the academic program and enhancing the performance of the College's administrative and fiscal operations. She has also led the the restructuring of graduate programs to enable more competitive offer packages for students. Annual philanthropic support for the College has increased significantly, from $24 million in 2008 to more than $60 million in 2012.