In the fall of 2008, economic turmoil erupted across the globe. The collapse of the U.S. housing market caused a precipitous drop in real estate values and associated derivatives. Other dominoes quickly fell. Industry giants such as Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan and AIG found themselves in varying degrees of distress. The credit market practically dried up, and millions of Americans lost jobs.

By March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost more than half of its value from its all-time high in October 2007. Also in March, the Federal Reserve announced plans to buy $1.2 trillion of debt in hopes of boosting lending and spurring an economic recovery.

Of course, the University of Virginia hasn’t been immune from these economic woes. One notable consequence: The University’s endowment decreased in value from $5.1 billion in June 2008 to $3.83 billion at the end of March 2009.

In the pages that follow, we examine the economic situation from a variety of University viewpoints, including those of faculty, students and alumni.

On the Front Lines
Alumni and faculty experts share their perspectives on how we got into this situation—and how to get out of it.

Time and Money
A timeline tracks how the University has weathered economic ups and downs throughout the years.

In the Classroom
As economic events unfolded, some professors threw away their syllabi and kept pace with breaking news.

Students Speak
Learn how some students are coping with the economy—with video.

Your Financial Health
Assess your personal finances with a quiz from McIntire professor Karin Bonding.

A Different World
A first-person perspective on how Circuit City’s collapse altered the career path of one alumnus.