From the excitement of first-year move-in day to Final Exercises' procession down the Lawn, UVA staff photographers capture life on Grounds.  View slideshow on Flickr.

More than 6,000 students proceed down the Lawn during Final Exercises. The weekend’s logistics are complex. These new graduates will walk past approximately 20,000 chairs that Facilities Management employees have set up for the occasion. Another 25,000 chairs are set up for events and ceremonies at 50 sites around Grounds.

Since the fall semester of 2010, students and faculty have been using the new South Lawn buildings that extend from Central Grounds across Jefferson Park Avenue. They are the biggest extension of the Lawn since Rouss, Cocke and Old Cabell halls were built more than a century ago. The commons building has lounges and study spaces with three-story glass walls.

Taking care of the Academical Village is a never-ending job, and the Rotunda needs work that’s much more extensive than a fresh coat of paint. The first phase of the restoration, estimated to cost $23 million, includes roof repairs and restoration of the column capitals. A $28 million second phase will improve the Rotunda’s interior infrastructure and surrounding landscape.

Kyle Emory (Com ’12) and Michael McGarry (Col ’13) channel Thomas Jefferson in their support of the Hoos at John Paul Jones Arena. The pair was also conspicuous at football games in Scott Stadium. Virginia men’s and women’s teams captured four ACC championships during the 2011-12 academic year (with baseball yet to be determined as of press time) and have won 51 conference titles during the past decade.

Mike Scott (Col ’12) helped lead Virginia to a 22-10 record and its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2007. Named first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference, he ranked first among ACC players in field goal percentage, second in scoring and fifth in rebounding.

The Lawn takes on a festive air during a snowfall.

Alderman Library opened in 1938, but it’s not an old-fashioned library. It boasts modern study spaces and the Scholar’s Lab, a digital research center. UVA libraries hold more than 5 million books, 18 million manuscripts and archives, and half a million e-books.

Dorrie Fontaine (right), dean of the Nursing School, speaks with students. Even with increased enrollment, the University offers a 15-to-1 student-faculty ratio.

Halloween on the Lawn is a tradition that brings together the Charlottesville and University communities. Many students get in on the act, including members of the Agape Christian Fellowship who sail their Viking ship among costumed children trick-or-treating on the Lawn.

The rigorous academics at UVA continue to be nationally recognized. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Virginia as the No. 2 public university in the nation after the University of California, Berkeley. UVA was tied for 25th with UCLA and Wake Forest in the overall rankings that include private universities.

Last August, the University welcomed its largest entering class yet, as 3,451 first-year students moved into their dorms. UVA opened Balz-Dobie and Watson-Webb—two new, six-story residence halls—to help accommodate the growing student body.

The UVA Express shuttles incoming international students from nearby airports to Grounds. More than 100 volunteers greet students from places like China, Turkey and France and help them get settled in Charlottesville. International students comprise 7 percent of the Class of 2015.

Continuing the ideals of Jefferson, students and faculty share their intellectual and social lives. Associate dean of students Aaron Laushway (Educ ’84, GSBA ’87) greets students on the Lawn.

Tori Janowski (Col ’15) warms up before a volleyball match in Memorial Gymnasium. Opened in 1924, Mem Gym still provides a place for students to exercise and is the home of the Cavalier volleyball and wrestling teams.