The University of Virginia Lawn and Academical Village



The University of Virginia Lawn and Academical Village

Discussion. Collaboration. Enlightenment.
These are the ideals to which Thomas Jefferson aspired when conceiving the University of Virginia. In his quest to reinvent higher education in America, Jefferson sought to cultivate an environment in which students and faculty could live and learn from one another.
At the University of Virginia, scholars and professors could exercise their ingenuity, develop the tools of self-governance and push the boundaries of knowledge in service to the common good.
The result was a revolution: the Academical Village. Designed to foster cross-disciplinary exchange, Jefferson's design housed faculty from a range of specialties around a central Lawn. Students lived in single rooms between professors' homes. At the head of their shared Lawn stood the library (also known as the Rotunda). And at the Lawn's foot lay a panoramic view of the mountains, suggestive of the intellectual frontiers that lay open to discovery.
Indeed, Jefferson's Academical Village gave physical shape to his ideals--ideals that would alter the course of higher education in America and the world.


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