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Preserving, Progressing

Jefferson Trust grants help a variety of projects

The Jefferson Trust honored the University’s past as well as its future in awarding grants this year.

A project to preserve Thomas Jefferson’s original drawings of buildings in the Academical Village and a program to ensure education access for low-income students were among 14 grants totaling $376,000 approved by the trust. The latter, a $50,000 scholarship endowment to the AccessUVa fund, was made in honor of the late John A. “Jack” Blackburn, longtime dean of admission at UVA.

Established by the Alumni Association in 2004, the Jefferson Trust is an unrestricted endowment that distributes funds annually through a Grounds-wide grant program. More than $1.4 million has been awarded to 37 projects over the years, with grants ranging from $5,000 to $150,000.

This year, in addition to aiding architectural preservation and academic access, the grants will help fund student research into Virginia’s water resources, restoration of a historic exhibition gallery in Brooks Hall and an initiative to prepare students for professional life.

The trustees, led by Grant Committee Chair Sharon Owlett (Law ’75), reviewed more than 45 grant applications this year, a 350 percent increase over last year.