The University’s bicentennial office, coming off a successful launch this month, says it plans to continue hosting events—six or seven a year—until Jan. 25, 2019, the 200th anniversary of the charter’s signing. While most plans are still under way, several opportunities, including a conference featuring Hillary Rodham Clinton, are fast approaching.
The symposium “Universities, Slavery, Public Memory, and the Built Landscape,” Oct. 18-21, will continue the conversation about the visible legacy that slavery left on Grounds and at other universities. “We want people to recognize our commitment to telling the full UVA story,” Assistant Director of Bicentennial Communications Elyse Girard wrote in an email. “We will tell these stories of our past, and honor those who should have been recognized long ago.” Partners for the event include UVA’s President’s Commission on Slavery and the University, the Slave Dwelling Project, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and Virginia Institute for the Humanities.
Telling the comprehensive story for a university includes looking ahead to the future. The Women’s Global Leadership Forum, “The Role of Women in the 21st Century Democracy,” aims to do that. The Nov. 13-14 forum, headlined by Clinton, will host experts from around the world and in the community who will concentrate on education, health, economic access, innovation, equality and political empowerment. This event “will highlight how women will challenge and change the world by leading the path forward,” Girard writes. Other speakers include include UVA Medical School alumna Dr. Vivian Pinn; U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.); Maya Ajmera, founder of the Global Fund for Children; and Jean Case, chair of the board of trustees for National Geographic.
Planners say they hope the events will provide the space to do more than celebrate UVA’s past. “We want to provide events that have an impact and challenge you to think about the future of higher education,” writes Girard. “We want everyone to enjoy the bicentennial, but also realize this is the chance to influence the next 200 years at the University.”
More information can be found at bicentennial.virginia.edu/events.