Dear alumni, parents, and friends:
As we gather with family and friends to celebrate Independence Day this weekend, we reflect on the founding of the University of Virginia and its intimate connection to the birth of our nation. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson conceived a framework for a new republic based on a set of unalienable rights — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He then established the University of Virginia to sustain and support the nation, because he believed that an educated citizenry would provide the only sure means of preserving the young republic. Two years after U.Va.'s founding, he wrote that the University would be "an institution on which the fortunes of our country may depend ..."
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe presided over the laying of the University's cornerstone in 1817. We look forward to celebrating the University's bicentennial beginning in 2017, as we prepare to step boldly into U.Va.'s third century guided by our new strategic plan, the Cornerstone Plan. Your support of the University will be the cornerstone on which we will build a bright future for U.Va. in its next century.
Happy Fourth of July.
Very truly yours,
Teresa A. Sullivan