Building the sciences
An ambitious initiative to enhance UVA’s science and technology research is gaining steam with the appointment of two new faculty. Stephen S. Rich, one of the world’s leading epidemiologists and geneticists, has been appointed director of UVA’s Center for Public Health Genomics. John T. Yates Jr., a world-renowned physical and surface chemist and a member of the National Academy of Science, will join the chemistry department, but also plans to work closely with the departments of astronomy and engineering. They join Joe C. Campbell, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as the first three of what will be 10 National Academies-level hires to be made in the next four years.
In the rankings
The September issue of Black Enterprise magazine named UVA among the 50 top colleges for African Americans. According to the magazine, which put the University at No. 35, it reviewed 1,423 colleges and universities to develop its “50 Best Colleges” list. Variables considered in the rankings were the graduation rate of black students, the average survey score of the school’s social and academic environment and the total black undergraduate enrollment.
President John T. Casteen III and his wife, Betsy, have made a $500,000 gift to the University, stipulating that the funds be used to provide scholarships for children of staff and faculty. The Casteens hope this kind of program becomes a normal employment benefit for faculty and staff members not only at UVA, but at all of Virginia’s public colleges.
UVA’s Health System has been recognized for increasing its organ donations by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During the past few years, the medical center has met or exceeded a 75 percent conversion rate—that is, the percentage of donated organs that are suitable to save the life of someone on the national waiting list for a transplant.
Sandridge on the map
“Anyone who has been involved in University activities knows that for the last 30 years, one individual has made a significant difference in the lives of faculty, staff, students and alumni. … This individual shies away from the spotlight at all costs,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, rector of the Board of Visitors, introducing a resolution honoring Leonard W. Sandridge, UVA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Well, the board has had enough of that and we decided to call him to account in a very public way.”
Sandridge’s name will be tied to two projects with which he was closely involved—the entrance to the John Paul Jones Arena will be called the Leonard W. Sandridge Portal, while the connector road will become Sandridge Road.