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News Briefs

Rankings Roundup

Watching rankings of all sorts has become a national pastime. Here are a few that spotlight UVA.

  • For the 13th straight year, UVA’s black-student graduation rate (87 percent) ranks higher than of any public university in the country—and by a wide margin, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the State University of New York-Binghamton tied for second among flagship state universities at 72 percent.
  • The University ranks 10th among all U.S. colleges and universities in study-abroad participation among its students, according to the Institute of International Education. Of the University’s approximately 17,500 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,875 either studied abroad or engaged in research abroad during the 2005-06 academic year.
  • PC Magazine and the Princeton Review recognized UVA as one of the 2007 Top 20 Wired Colleges. The award recognizes institutions with the most comprehensive computing and technology facilities and features, focusing on academics, student resources and infrastructure.
  • The UVA Medical Center is tops in the nation in the percentage of patients who survive lung transplantation, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. The hospital performed 52 lung transplants between Jan. 1, 2003, and June 30, 2005, and 51 recipients survived.

Heritage on Hiatus

The show does not always go on, after all.

The Heritage Repertory Theatre, a summer staple at UVA since 1974, will go on hiatus this summer—not because of a lack of interest, but because of a lack of parking. The lot at Culbreth Theatre is closed to accommodate construction of the new studio arts building, to be called Ruffin Hall, and a 554-space parking garage to serve the Arts Grounds.

Heritage’s program of musicals and dramas will return in 2008.

Courtside Seats

Four UVA Law School graduates are breathing the rarified legal air of U.S. Supreme Court clerkship this term—more than any school not named Harvard or Yale.

The Cavalier clerks include Gordon Todd (Law ’00), clerking for Justice Samuel Alito; John Adams (Law ’03) and David Bragdon (Law ’02), clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas; and Dan Bress (Law ’05), clerking for Justice Antonin Scalia. Typically, the court chooses about 100 clerks from around 7,000 applications.

According to Molly Bishop, who oversees the Law School’s clerkship application process, clerking for the high court is one of the most impressive credentials a young lawyer can have, often a springboard to top law firms or academic appointments.

Books on Tap

Imagine how much easier researching a term paper would be if you could search for obscure books online, then pull up full-text versions from the comfort of your dorm room.

It’s becoming a reality. UVA last fall became the ninth university library system to sign on to the Google Books Project (, which is making millions of texts keyword-searchable online. Full texts of books in the public domain will be available on the Web; seekers of works under copyright protection will be directed toward places to borrow or buy them.

Under terms of the six-year deal, the University will make hundreds of thousands of books available to Google for scanning, and will receive the digital files in return.