UVA History: From a Black Perspective

Welcome! This is an interactive timeline that reviews the history of the University of Virginia with an emphasis on enslaved laborers, black students, and racial disparities. The information included on this timeline was compiled through research from the [President's Commission on Slavery and the University](https://slavery.virginia.edu/) and [President's Commission on the Age of Segregation.](https://segregation.virginia.edu/) To read more work from the President's Commisions [click here.](https://news.virginia.edu/news-category/uva-and-history-race) To learn more about the role of African Americans in health professions visit [CHAAMP.](https://chaamp.virginia.edu/)

1817-10-06 00:00:00

Construction of the University

The University was constructed by freed and enslaved men. Jefferson hired European artisans to lead specific projects. Enslaved men were the predominate workforce and played a critical role in the initial construction of the Academical Village (the Lawn, Rotunda, the Pavilions, the Range, etc).

1817-10-06 00:00:00

UVA is founded by Thomas Jefferson

"In its very inception, even in Jefferson's own imagining of what the University of Virginia could be, he understood it to be an institution with slavery at its core, both in how it operated and in its purpose. He believed that a southern institution was necessary to protect the sons of the South from abolitionist teachings in the North. Jefferson wrote to his friend James Breckinridge and expressed his concern with sending the youth of Virginia to be educated in the North, a place “against us in position and principle.” He worried that in northern institutions young Virginians might imbibe “opinions and principles in discord with those of their own country. This canker is eating on the vitals of our existence, and if not arrested at once will be beyond remedy.” In other words, Jefferson believed it was important to educate Virginians, and other southerners, in an institution that understood and ultimately supported slavery.”

1825-03-07 00:00:00

University Opens to Students

Although the Rotunda would not be completed until a year later, the Pavilion and Lawn Rooms were available. In addition to the construction workers now the Academic Village was filled with students, faculty, hotel keepers, and the slaves of the faculty and hotel keepers. Students were not allowed to bring their slaves on grounds. There are several recorded incidents of students being physically abusive toward both free and enslaved black people. "In one case from 1856, a student severely beat a 10-year-old enslaved girl who worked at a nearby boarding house, and said in his testimony before the faculty that he did so because she had spoken to him with impertinence. The faculty were going to expel him until he apologized – to the person who owned the girl. The student also said his actions could “be defended on the ground of the necessity of maintaining the due subordination in this class of persons.”"

1825-04-01 00:00:00

Hidden From View

Jefferson designed the Academic Village on a ridge which created the illusion that the Pavilions were only two stories tall. The enslaved workers lived and worked in the basement level and in the enclosed gardens in the back.

1827-01-01 10:33:55

Anatomical Theatre

In 1827 the Anatomical Theater was open for classes. 10 years later, a one-story brick Anatomical Laboratory was added behind the theater for dissections. To acquire cadavers for dissection, professors and medical students stole corpses predominately from African American graves. The expansion of race science teaching at the university lead to an even greater demand for the dissection of black bodies as professors teaching eugenics sought to prove white supremacy at the biological level. Historical documents reveal that grave robbers, also known as “resurrectionists” were hired by the university to steal bodies as quickly as possible after the burial. One such resurrectionist, known as Anatomical Lewis, was hired by UVA as custodian of the laboratory and consequently despised by the black community in Charlottesville. In response to their graves being desecrated, many black families were rumored to have had fake funeral services in which wood or stones were buried and have the real funeral service in hiding. This practice of grave robbing continued well after the Civil War ended in 1865. The theater and laboratory fell into disuse in 1901 and was torn down in 1939.

1842-11-29 18:26:39

James Lawrence Cabell

Cabell served as the chair of the faculty for several years and remained a tenured professor in the school of medicine for 52 years. He lead the nation in innovations of public health including sterilization techniques. He publishes "The Testimony of Modern Science to the Unity of Mankind" citing evidence that black people are biologically inferior to white people.

1861-04-28 00:00:00

Black Nurses Work in Charlottesville Hospital During the Civil War

Dr. James Lawrence Cabell was the surgeon in charge of the Charlottesville Hospital during the Civil War. The confederate hospital staff included enslaved and free African Americans. "County blacks volunteered or were impression into service. During October 1861, black nurses were paid $18.50 per month. Nearly a year later Medical Director & Inspector Thomas H. Williams authorized Cabell to increase their pay to twenty dollars; rations and housing were to be provided for them. This was not enough; by December Cabell was requesting permission to impress local slaves for hospital duty and free blacks were drafted for the same purpose." Quote and pictures from Ervin L. Jordan's "Charlottesville and the University of Virginia in the Civil War" courtesy of the Special Collections Library at the Health Sciences Library at UVA.

1862-03-02 00:00:00

Black Workers at the Confederate Hospital

"Black prepared meals for and feed patients, cleaned floors, changed linen, repaired buildings, bathed the wounded, and buried the dead. They served faithfully at their tasks although some were not hesitant about defecting when provided with an opportunity. Their service was not without personal risk- one slave woman and her son were killed by Federal artillery fire while on their way to report for work at the hospital. Others died after they were infected with diseases unwittingly transmitted by their patients. Black hospital workers at Charlottesville General Hospital are seldom mentioned in diaries, letters, and newspaper accounts of the period. Whites treated them as invisible inferiors, for as slaveowners many were used to black servility. It was a subject that was as superfluous to daily conversation as the number of breaths a person had taken on a given day. For various reasons blacks believed it was their public and patriotic duty to volunteer on behalf of the Confederacy. Perhaps they believed appreciation of their wartime efforts would result in an increase of better social and economic treatment for themselves when the war was won." Quote and pictures from Ervin L. Jordan's "Charlottesville and the University of Virginia in the Civil War" courtesy of the Special Collections Library at the Health Sciences Library at UVA.

1867-04-12 00:00:00

UVA Students Return Post-Civil War

In 1867, just over two years after the Civil War ended in defeat for the Confederacy, the University of Virginia had returned to full enrollment. Former Confederate soldiers and those too young to have fought – 490 students in all – had come back to the school. In December, the student editors of the Virginia University Magazine opined about the “humiliation of living in these days of Conventions and Freedmen’s Bureaus” and complained about “negrophilism” – their term for attempts to include African Americans in the state constitutional reform process. Mythologizing about the “Lost Cause” – a post-Civil War, pro-Confederate interpretation of history – was accompanied by mocking dehumanization of African Americans through blackface minstrel shows and other stereotypes, all of which fed into a white supremacist ethos supporting the rise and continuation of the segregated state.

1895-06-05 04:43:16

Paul Brandon Barringer

Jefferson’s and Cabell’s race science transitioned into a full commitment to the science and policies of eugenics with the passing of power from Cabell to Paul Brandon Barringer in 1888. Like his mentor, Barringer cast a long shadow on UVA, first as a faculty member, then as dean of the medical school, where he would build UVA’s first hospital in 1901, and lay the foundation for eugenic science among its faculty. While chair of the faculty, Barringer published three treatises that secured his pre-eminence as a spokesperson on the inferiority of blacks when compared to whites.

1901-03-01 00:00:00

Black Patients Treated in the Basement of UVA Hospital

Eugenic racism in health care led to the segregation of African Americans into basement wards at UVA’s teaching hospital, where black men, women and those with mental illnesses were housed together, complicating the treatment of all who were sick. The accommodations were horrible, at best, and the treatment many received, often disgraceful. Extreme limitation of access to ambulatory and surgical care contributed to much higher rates of morbidity and mortality from contagious and chronic illnesses among African Americans.

1907-06-05 04:43:16

Harvey E. Jordan

Jordan, a professor of embryology, genetics and histology, was one of Alderman’s early recruits. Joining the faculty in 1907, he served as dean of the medical school from 1939 to 1949. Believing that blacks inherited a susceptibility to contracting diseases such as syphilis and tuberculosis, Jordan called for compulsory registration of all who were ill. He argued that proposed eugenic marriage, segregation and sterilization laws, were public and racial health measures that “should form part of the health code, to be administered under the State Police powers.”6 The promise of eugenics as a solution to society’s ills, and the power of physicians in solving such problems was best summed up when Jordan declared at the 1st International Congress of Eugenics in 1912 that “the future physician must also take a more active part in helping to shape legislation in the interest of race welfare.”

1915-02-05 04:43:16

Birth of a Nation

The promotional campaign for D.W. Griffith’s blockbuster film, “Birth of a Nation,” culminated in a special viewing at the White House for President Woodrow Wilson, a Virginian and University of Virginia School of Law alumnus. After that White House screening, Wilson reportedly commented that the movie was “writing history as lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so true.” Many white Americans appear to have agreed. The Klan’s membership surged in the years after the film’s release – the mass reorganization of the Klan became more national, and chapters throughout the nation embraced the regalia featured in the movie. By 1924, membership nationwide had spiked to possibly as many as 4 million people. That same year, a statue of Robert E. Lee was dedicated near the Charlottesville Courthouse. A parade with community members and Klansmen is shown in a photograph.

1921-03-05 04:43:16

Alderman Accepts KKK Funds for UVA

In March 1921, the Virginia state Klan sent a letter directly to UVA President Edwin Alderman pledging $1,000 to UVA’s Centennial Endowment Fund. Alderman publicly “expressed the hearty thanks of the University” for what he termed the Klan’s “generosity and good will” for the pledge gift. In 2017, President Emerita Teresa A. Sullivan estimated the 1921 pledge from the Virginia state Klan would be worth about $12,400 in today’s dollars, and announced that she would allocate $12,500 from private sources to a fund managed by the UVA Health Foundation to assist victims with a gesture of financial support in their recovery from the violence of Aug. 11-12, 2017.

1924-11-03 17:53:24

Racial Integrity Act

Eugenics began to shape public policy nationally as early as 1907, when Indiana passed a sterilization law. Two Virginia eugenics laws, both passed in 1924, had a profound impact in the commonwealth and throughout the country. The Virginia Sterilization Act and the Racial Integrity Act not only legalized sterilization of the mentally ill and persons of low literacy, but also cemented discrimination against marginalized and vulnerable populations, including African Americans. These laws codified Jim Crow into every aspect of community life, and in doing so, denied African Americans access to medical care, jobs and fair wages, as well as higher education and professional training. Simply put, eugenic laws created the “one drop rule,” where one drop of African American blood restricted a person of color to life behind the veil. A band of eugenics populists, including a UVA alumnus, founded the Anglo-Saxon Clubs and then advocated for passage of the 1924 Racial Integrity Act. Dr. Walter A. Plecker, Earnest Sevier Cox and John Powell (the latter a 1901 UVA alumnus) sought to preserve the racial integrity of the white race by defining whiteness, with its “no trace” definition, and blackness, with its “one drop rule,” and then restricting marriage of a white person to anyone except someone fully identified as pure white. They ultimately succeeded with legislation passed in 1924 and 1927. With autocratic rigidity, Plecker, as director of Virginia’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, used birth certificates to prevent fair-skinned blacks from passing into life in the white community, and marriage certificates to stop miscegenation.

1927-05-02 15:49:30

Buck vs Bell: Eugenics is Upheld in the United States

Eugenics became so pervasive that is resulted in the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924. The first woman to be sterilized was Carrie Buck, a Charlottesville native. A historical marker can be found in the 10th and Page neighborhood, marking the significant court case. The inscription reads "In 1924, Virginia, like a majority of states then, enacted eugenic sterilization laws. Virginia’s law allowed state institutions to operate on individuals to prevent the conception of what were believed to be “genetically inferior” children. Charlottesville native Carrie Buck (1906–1983), involuntarily committed to a state facility near Lynchburg, was chosen as the first person to be sterilized under the new law. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, on 2 May 1927, affirmed the Virginia law. After Buck more than 8,000 other Virginians were sterilized before the most relevant parts of the Act were repealed in 1974. Later evidence eventually showed that Buck and many others had no “hereditary defects.” She is buried south of here." Pictured are Jesse Meadows and Rose Brooks, survivors of sterilization, and Paul Lombardo, the marker sponsor.

1928-05-01 00:00:00

A Textbook of Embryology

Harvey E. Jordan adn James E Kindred publish the 1st of 5 editions of their textbook of embryology. This textbook is used in teaching medical students. In each edition of the textbook, the authors include a chapter on ""Eugenics" that describes both the science and the art of eugenics.

1930-08-13 02:35:57

Vinegar Hill

After the Civil War, the Vinegar Hill neighborhood became the vibrant center of Charlottesville's African-American community. Many of the buildings were owned by white property owners and rented by black businesses owners. But more than a fourth of the businesses and homes were black owned. These businesses provided services to the black community and some white customers.

1932-03-12 09:47:55

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment Begins

UVA alumni, including a surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Hugh Smith Cummings, and two assistant surgeon generals, Dr. Taliaferro Clark and Dr. Raymond Vanderlehr, took eugenic racism into the rural tobacco fields of Alabama. Here they implemented the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, where nearly 400 black men were followed for 40 years in an effort to document how the disease manifested in black individuals left untreated. The tragedy is that with the discovery of penicillin as a cure for syphilis after World War II, these men were never informed of their disease, nor offered curative therapy.

1935-06-08 22:58:58

Alice Jackson

Alice Jackson was the first black applicant to UVA or any Virginia professional and graduate school. She was rejected by the board of visitors with minimal explanation. After the NAACP threatened legal action she was given funds to go out of state for her education. She received her graduate degree in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.

1942-02-01 00:00:00

Harvey Jordan's Legacy in Print

Harvey Jordan lectured and published several papers on Eugenics. In one particular lecture he stated "There is no issue so vital to this nation today as the rearing of the human thoroughbred. Whence this idea of impurity about this most vital interest of this people, except from the impure or possibly misinformed minds of perverted natures? In another publication Jordan investigates what he considers the problem of pigmentation inheritance. "The comparative histologic study of pigmented skins was undertaken with the hope of discovering evidence that might throw more light on the problem of color inheritance among the descendants of crosses between whites and negroes." Jordan's "A Textbook of Embryology" was used to teach medical students at UVA. The last chapter of the textbook is on Eugenics and is included here, courtesy of the Special Collections Library at the Health Sciences Library at UVA.

1943-01-16 02:35:57

Black Staff Face Labor Discrimination

On Jan. 16, 1943, 28 Black women employed at the University of Virginia Hospital staged a walkout after hospital Superintendent Dr. Carlisle S. Lentz refused to accept their petition for higher wages. The University employed all of the women as “ward maids,” a position that the hospital had reserved exclusively for Black women. They assisted nurses, changed linens and performed other essential work that enabled UVA health care providers to care for hundreds of patients each day. Among the hospital’s paid staff, they also earned the lowest wages and worked the longest hours. In response to the walkout, Lentz laid off all 28 women and temporarily replaced them with white women volunteering for the Red Cross and the UVA Hospital Circle of the King’s Daughters.2 While Lentz sought replacements for the ward maids, members of Charlottesville’s Black community formed a citizen’s committee to discuss a resolution to the walkout with University President John Lloyd Newcomb. That walkout was part of a broader campaign during the 1940s and 1950s that the hospital’s Black employees waged for fair compensation and equal opportunities. Their victories were rarely complete, but through this fight, Black men and women made meaningful progress toward dismantling the racism embedded in UVA Hospital at its founding. Nineteenth-century faculty at the University of Virginia dehumanized African Americans and contributed to the development, locally and nationally, of a discriminatory medical culture. When, in the early 20th century, the University decided to build its own hospital for clinical training, it created an institution that reflected and reinforced this culture.

1950-09-15 18:13:31

Gregory Hayes Swanson

"Gregory Hayes Swanson, a Danville native, was a 26-year-old practicing lawyer when he filed a federal lawsuit to gain admission to UVA to pursue a master’s in law. The law faculty had supported his entry, but the UVA Board of Rectors opposed it. After he won his lawsuit, he was admitted in 1950, setting a precedent for racial integration at the University. "

1951-06-14 12:41:08

Walter Nathaniel Ridley

Walter N. Ridley would not have been a typical University of Virginia student in any year. He was 40 years old and married with two children. He held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Howard University, and was on the faculty of Virginia State College. But the year was 1950. Despite his academic successes, UVA would not admit him to pursue a doctorate because he was African American. After repeated attempts, he was finally accepted in 1951. Two years later, he earned his Ed.D. from UVA’s Curry Department of Education (before it became a school) – becoming the first Black student to graduate from UVA, as well as the first African American to earn a doctorate at any major white public university in the South.

1951-09-15 18:13:31

Burley High School LPN Program

UVA Hospital and Jackson P. Burley High School began nursing training program in 1951 to address a nursing shortage. About 150 African American women (and a few men) were educated in the segregated program. They served alongside white nurses, treated patients of every race, and ran clinics. But despite receiving their education in a UVA program, they were not considered University alumni.

1954-05-07 19:21:01

Brown vs Board of Education

The U.S Supreme Court ruled that segregation is unconstitutional in schools but did not outline a plan or timeline for integration. This led to the Massive Resistance movement, by Virginian senator Harry F. Byrd. He penned the "Southern Manifesto" which urges for opposition to integration. The Governor of Virginia strips Virginia schools of the power to integrate and closes schools in violation of statewide mandates against integration.

1963-03-14 12:41:08

MLK Speaks at Old Cabell

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 visit to the University of Virginia was the result of a small-but-determined group of students fighting an uphill battle for racial equality at a time when the nation was deeply divided. The student committee sent a letter of invitation to Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King preached. The reverend said he would come and the two sides agreed he would speak in Old Cabell Hall on the evening of March 25, 1963. Harris [Wesley Harris, an African American student enrolled at UVA in 1960] said he remembers King’s arrival that day “vividly,” because King drove to Charlottesville by himself; there were no bodyguards, no entourage. “Usually when you see Dr. King in a photograph or a newsreel, he is always surrounded by people. He was not when he arrived at the University of Virginia,” Harris said. King arrived late in the afternoon and Harris got him settled in a hotel that once stood on Emmett Street near the Lambeth Field Apartments, but recently suffered major fire damage. The pair then met Gaston and Gaston’s wife for dinner at the University Cafeteria, the only dining establishment on the Corner that would serve African-Americans.

1963-06-01 00:00:00

Vivian Pinn

Vivian Pinn was the third black student and second woman to enter UVA's School of Medicine. At the time she was the only woman in her class. In 1970, she joined the faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine and served as assistant dean for Student Affairs. She then moved to Washington, D.C. in 1982, to become professor and chair of the department of pathology at Howard University College of Medicine. Dr. Pinn was appointed the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health in 1991. In 2017, the UVA Board of Visitors voted to renamed Jordan Hall in her honor.

1964-07-02 11:40:31

Civil Rights Act of 1964

This landmark civil rights law outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religions, sex, or national origin. The law bans unequal voter registration requirements, and racial segregation in schools, employment, and public spaces. The passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 enforced the Civil Rights Act. Hospitals could not receive federal funds if they were segregated. This law effectively led to the integration of U.S hospitals. However, segregation in the workforce and on the wards was still very prevalent. Local activists and the NAACP worked tirelessly to integrate the hospital decades after the law was passed.

1965-08-13 02:35:57

Vinegar Hill is Demolished

In the mid 60's the neighborhood was demolished as part of an urban renewal plan that started in the 50s. Due to poll taxes, many of the African-Americans living in Vinegar Hill were unable to vote against the destruction of their own community. 600 community members were moved to the Westhaven housing complex. Sadly, the site that was demolished remained vacant for over 10 years until it was redeveloped into a parking lot with several businesses near the Omni Hotel.

1967-06-12 06:10:47

Loving v. Virginia

Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Loving, a woman of Native American and African ancestry, were married in in Washington D.C in 1958. When they returned to Virginia they were arrested and forced to leave the state after pleading guilty. The American Civil Liberties Union took their case to the supreme court. The U.S Supreme Court ruled that the 1924 Racial Integrity Act denied Virginian's the fundamental freedom to marry. The ruling effectively legalized interracial marriages across the nation.

1968-08-01 00:00:00

Mavis Claytor

Mavis Claytor first arrived at UVA in 1968 as a transfer student from Roanoke College, the same year that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and James Meredith, the first black man to attend the University of Mississippi, was shot on a march through that state. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1970 and a master’s from the School in 1985. Claytor was the first African-American student to enter – and graduate from – UVA’s School of Nursing. In 2017 she was honored and interviewed during the Catherine Strader McGehee Memorial Lecture.

1972-03-12 09:47:55

Tuskegee Study is Ended

In July 1972, an Associated Press story about the Tuskegee Study caused a public outcry that led the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs to appoint an Ad Hoc Advisory Panel to review the study. The panel had nine members from the fields of medicine, law, religion, labor, education, health administration, and public affairs. The panel found that the men had agreed freely to be examined and treated. However, there was no evidence that researchers had informed them of the study or its real purpose. In fact, the men had been misled and had not been given all the facts required to provide informed consent. The men were never given adequate treatment for their disease. Even when penicillin became the drug of choice for syphilis in 1947, researchers did not offer it to the subjects. The advisory panel found nothing to show that subjects were ever given the choice of quitting the study, even when this new, highly effective treatment became widely used.

1997-05-16 09:47:55

President Clinton Issues Formal Apology to the Untreated Patients of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

On May 16 in the East Oval Room, President Bill Clinton issued a formal apology to the untreated patients of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. The apology resulted from the work of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study Legacy Committee which was born out of a symposium hosted by UVa and the Health Sciences Library in 1994.

2012-10-22 10:33:55

African American Burial Ground Discovered

The university started plans to expand the University Cemetery in 2012 but archaeological investigation revealed that there were 67 unmarked graves with remains. About one fourth of the remains belonged to children. The graves were also organized in groups suggesting that they were family units. Given that there is no record of the individuals buried but there is evidence that servants at the University were buried just beyond the northern wall of the University Cemetery, it is likely that the discovered remains are an African American Burial Ground. In 2014 and 2017 the President's Commission on Slavery at the University held evening vigils and memorial services led by Reverend Almeta Ingram-Miller to honor those individuals.

2013-04-05 15:49:30

President's Commission on Slavery and the University

At an April 2013 meeting of the President’s Cabinet, Dr. Marcus Martin, Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, made a presentation on slavery at UVa and proposed that a commission be formed to further explore the topic and to make recommendations as to the next steps the University could take in response to this history. Dr. Martin credited groups such as Memorial for Enslaved Laborers (MEL), the UVa IDEA Fund (Inclusion Diversity Equity Access), and University and Community Action for Racial Equity (UCARE) for creating robust initiatives around the topic of slavery, which will guide the Commission’s work. Slavery at the University of Virginia: Visitor’s Guide, a student-led brochure that provides visitors with information about the University’s history with slavery, is one such initiative. The formation of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University is the next step in building a broader institutional effort.

2015-06-15 01:16:00

Gibbons House Dedication

"William and Isabella Gibbons were husband and wife, enslaved by different professors and living in different pavilions in the mid-19th century University of Virginia. Once emancipated, Isabella became a teacher at the Freedman’s School – now the Jefferson School – and William became a minister at Charlottesville’s oldest black church, First Baptist." The President's Commission on Slavery and the University recommended naming one or more UVA buildings after enslaved laborers. This was the first dorm named after enslaved laborers at the university. It contains an exhibit in the alcove of the dorm that explores their lives in more detail.

2017-04-13 01:16:00

Skipwith Hall

Skipwith, an enslaved laborer freed in 1833, quarried stone for buildings at UVA, including the Anatomical Theater, the only building that Thomas Jefferson designed for the University outside of the original Academical Village...a new building likely sitting on the quarry’s location was dedicated as Skipwith Hall in his honor, one of several events celebrating Founder’s Day. Located in the Facilities Management complex along McCormick Road, the building was completed in January 2016 and houses administrative offices.

2017-08-11 00:00:00

Unite the Right Rally

Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer, UVA alums, organized a rally to protest the removal of the statue of General Robert E. Lee from Lee Park in Charlottesville. On the evening of August 11th, white nationalists marched on UVA grounds carrying tiki torches and chanted white supremacy and nazi slogans. They marched toward the Rotunda and encountered a group of around 30 student protestors that had locked arms around the Thomas Jefferson statue. The white nationalists surrounded the smaller group of counter protestors and a fight erupted. Eventually Virginia State police broke up the fight. On the morning of August 12, armed protestors who were members of the far-right (including: alt-right, neo-confederates, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and klansmen) marched toward the Robert E. Lee statue in downtown Charlottesville. By 11a.m the city declared a state of emergency, as protestors and counterprotestors began to violently clash. By noon Virginia State Police declared the assembly unlawful and riot police began clearing the scene. At 1:45pm James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, injuring 19 people and killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year old paralegal from Charlottesville.

2017-09-01 00:00:00

Jordan Hall Renamed

Jordan Hall was renamed Pinn Conference Center after Vivian Pinn, the second African American woman graduate of the UVA School of Medicine and a leading national individual in American medicine

2018-02-05 15:49:30

President's Commission on UVA in the Age of Segregation

In February 2018 President Sullivan announced the formation of commission that will "explore and report on UVA's role in the period of racial segregation that occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries...Virginia was the epicenter of the ‘Massive Resistance’ movement in the 1950s that sought to oppose public school desegregation...During this period, public schools here in Charlottesville were closed to prevent desegregation, although the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals eventually overturned the closings."

2019-08-01 20:57:44

Barringer Wing Renamed After Francis Collins

Collins is perhaps best known for serving as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, where he led the international Human Genome Project. That project culminated in 2003 with the publication of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. Since 2009, he has served as director of the National Institutes of Health, America’s medical research agency. Collins received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from UVA in 1970, followed by a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale University in 1974 and an M.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1974. “Dr. Collins is known and respected around the world for his path-breaking work in genetics and the Human Genome Project,” UVA President Jim Ryan said. “Throughout his career, Dr. Collins has also focused on the legal and ethical issues involving genetics. His careful, principled consideration of these issues, combined with his immense achievements as a scientist, make him an ideal person for this honor.”

2020-03-01 00:17:58

Memorial to Enslaved Laborers is Completed

The memorial is the result of years of advocacy by students, faculty, staff and alumni, including the IDEA Fund, and leadership and research by the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University, created by UVA President Emerita Teresa A. Sullivan in 2013 and co-chaired by Dr. Marcus Martin, former vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity, and history professor Kirt von Daacke. The commission’s 26 members, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and community members, were charged with finding ways to recognize and memorialize the history of slavery and enslaved people on Grounds and began the process of holding public community events and opportunities for comments, continued by the design team. The commission also worked with a national and local advisory board and a community relations task force.

2021-07-10 00:00:00

Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson Statues Removed

On July 10th 2021, the city of Charlottesville removed the Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson statues. A petition to remove the statues in 2016 by then high school student Zy Bryant led to outrage by white nationalists and culminated in the Unite the Right Rally in 2017.

2021-11-23 02:35:57

Victims of Unite the Right Rally Award $25 million

In November 2021, a jury in Virginia found the organizers of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville liable for the physical and emotional injuries of counter-protestors. Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler and other white supremacists and neo-Nazis were ordered to pay the nine plaintiffs in the civil trial approximately 25 million dollars.

UVA History: From a Black Perspective

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