The Jefferson Scholars Foundation has awarded more than $520,000 to approximately 65 faculty members in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Curry School of Education, the Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy, the McIntire School of Commerce, the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Medicine. 

Recipients of the Foundation’s faculty awards receive cash stipends and are recognized at a reception at the Foundation. All recipients also are welcomed into the Jefferson Scholars community as Faculty Fellows and are invited to participate in all appropriate Foundation programs and events.

Award for Excellence in Teaching

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, in 2012 the Jefferson Scholars Foundation began recognizing University faculty who have demonstrated both excellence in teaching and exceeding care for their students. This award honors those teachers in our community who have gone the extra mile in fulfilling their vocation without regard for their own advancement. 

The 2020-21 recipients are:

  • Jennifer Pease, Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education, School of Education and Human Development
  • Mark Whittle, Department of Astronomy, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Michael Wormington, Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

Hartfield Excellence in Teaching Award

Since 2010, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation has recognized faculty in the School of Engineering and Applied Science with an annual award. Recipients demonstrate that communicating knowledge and inspiring students are as important to the education process as scholarship, and they exemplify the highest standards and practices of teaching.

The 2020-21 recipient is:

  • Guarav Giri, Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering & Applied Science

Foundation Faculty Prize

The Foundation Faculty Prize is voted on by Jefferson Scholars alumni on the criteria of leadership, scholarship and citizenship. David Gies, Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese, is the most recent recipient of the Foundation Faculty Prize.




The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

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The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship.

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David and Jane Walentas

A transformational gift for UVA — $100 million to benefit first-generation students

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