Quincy Jones, Julian Bond and Bono

Julian Bond
Professor, Corcoran Department of History

Teaching about the U.S. South is but one of Professor Bond’s assorted pursuits. The Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP, civil rights activist, economic justice activist, and recipient of the National Freedom Award (2002) has made appearances on Saturday Night Live and has been known to rub elbows with the likes of Bono and Jamie Foxx at gala dinners.

Larry Sabato
Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics; Director, University of Virginia Center for Politics

Dr. Sabato’s motto is “Politics is a good thing!” The Wall Street Journal believes Dr. Sabato to be the most quoted college professor in the land, and rightly so—he launched Sabato’s Crystal Ball site in 2002, and his electoral analysis is the most accurate in the United States. In 2008, he projected that Barack Obama would win the presidency in a near-landslide, and his predicted 364-174 margin in the Electoral College was just one vote away from the final 363-175 tally. And his visions for the Senate, House, and Governor winners? Ninety-nine percent accurate.

Eric Lott
Professor, Department of English

Rumor has it that Professor Lott’s 1993 book Love and Theft: The Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class was the source for Bob Dylan’s 2001 album Love and Theft, one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Lott returns the favor in his forthcoming book, Tangled Up in Blue: The Cultural Contradictions of American Racism, which borrows its title from one of Dylan’s most famous tunes.

Rita Dove
Commonweath Professor, Department of English

Professor Dove’s collection of poetry Thomas and Beulah earned her the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1987, and she later served as poet laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995.

Kevin Everson
McIntire Department of Art

Professor Everson has exhibited films and artwork at MOMA in NYC and the Whitney Museum of American Art, two of the biggest names in the modern art scene. His unusual visions in response to working-class black American culture captured in films on picnics, African-American drag racers, cleaning collard greens, 18th-century beekeepers, and a variety of other topics, have been awarded with a Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Academy Rome Prize.  Professor Everson’s films, which are said to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, have also been praised at the 2008 Whitney Biennial and at the pinnacle of independent filmmaking, the Sundance Film Festival.

Kathryn Thornton
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, School of Engineering and Applied Science

A recent inductee into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, Dean Thornton earned her PhD from the University in 1979 and went on to serve for 12 years as an astronaut. She has flown on three space flights, including a 1993 voyage aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, where she flew as a mission specialist EVA crew member on a Hubble Space Telescope servicing and repair mission. Dean Thornton has logged 975 hours in space and more than 16 million miles in orbit.