Speeches & Writings


Candid portrait of President Ryan
Thoughts on a New Semester, New Grounds and Unchanging Values

President Ryan describes the stunning result of expansive renovation projects on Grounds and makes a call for all in our community to live the values of respect and compassion.

President Jim Ryan giving speech during ceremony
‘To Remember, To Give Thanks and To Embrace Life’

President Ryan’s remarks at the Memorial Tree Planting and Dedication Ceremony for Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry.

‘Look Past Labels, Learn Someone’s Full Story’
‘Look Past Labels, Learn Someone’s Full Story’

More than 50 new Americans from 28 countries gathered for a time-honored ceremony at Monticello, with UVA President Jim Ryan as the keynote speaker.

To the Class of 2023
To The Class of 2023

The University president welcomed graduates to the Lawn on Saturday and Sunday for UVA's 194th Final Exercises.

 Lives Remembered
Lives Remembered

Remarks at the Memorial Service and Reflection for Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry.

The Inauguration of Elizabeth Magill
The Inauguration of Elizabeth Magill

President Ryan delivers remarks at The Inauguration of the Ninth President of the University of Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Magill.

Remember This Town

University of Virginia president James E. Ryan was invited back to his alma mater, Midland Park High School, to give a graduation speech for the Class of 2022.

President Ryan at a podium speaking
June 2022 Reunions Address

President Jim Ryan addresses Alumni at UVA's Reunions 2022, focusing on where we've been, where we are, and where we're going.

President Ryan at a podium speaking
‘Back to the Future’

Though it initially appeared the pandemic would hinder the campaign and UVA’s strategic plan, UVA has maintained steady progress toward its goals and stayed true to its values.

Ryan In graduation attire speaking from the Rotunda
To the Class of 2020

During the UVA Class of 2020 virtual celebration, President Jim Ryan addressed graduates, asking them what they will carry forward as the world reopens.

Rotunda with text that reads: Education Live
Should universities be more like corporations?

A Speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Feb 2020

Ryan on a stage speaking to a crowd
Dear Ms. Future

During last weekend’s “Honor the Future” campaign kickoff, Ryan shared a letter to the future, describing the University as it is now and as he hopes it will be. See an excerpt from his address.

President Ryan listening to someone speak
We Heard You

On Aug. 1, incoming President Jim Ryan launched “Ours to Shape,” an initiative to develop and define a shared vision for UVA’s future. Thousands of people have helped shape a strategic plan, now ready to present to the Board of Visitors.

Jim Ryan speaking from a podium in Graduation attire
5 Lessons Learned from UVA’s National Title Run

Speaking to graduates at UVA’s College at Wise, the University of Virginia president shared five life lessons he took away from one of the University’s greatest sports moments.

Jim Ryan speaking from a podium in Graduation attire outside
Remarks to the Class of 2019

President Jim Ryan spoke briefly to graduates as part of Final Exercises 2019, which also featured keynote addresses from Cameron Webb and Dorrie Fontaine.

Jim Ryan resting on a podium while he listens to an audience member talk
On UVA's Future

On the 200th anniversary of UVA’s charter, President Jim Ryan called upon the University to rededicate itself to its animating purpose of serving the public.

President Ryan in the Rotunda Dome room giving a speech
Creating the School of Data Science

On Friday, UVA announced a new School of Data Science, made possible by the largest private gift in the University’s 200-year history. Take a look back at the big event, which featured President Jim Ryan, Gov. Ralph Northam and other leaders.

President Ryan with a microphone on stage
Inauguration Weekend Double Take

President Ryan shares a surprising story about his family.

President ryan outside in graduation attire giving a speech
Faith in the Unfinished Project

Jim Ryan was officially sworn in as UVA’s ninth president on a beautiful fall afternoon on the Lawn. The new president used his inaugural address to deliver a bold, hopeful vision for the future, including a firm promise for low- and middle-income Virginians.

The Lawn full of graduate while a stage is full of UVA leadership
When In Doubt, Build a Bridge

Sunday was a day of firsts for the University’s newest students and for the new president who officially welcomed them to Grounds.

President Ryan at a wooden podium giving a speech to a crowd
The Imperfect Pursuit of High Ideals

On the one-year anniversary of the white supremacist attacks on Grounds, UVA President James E. Ryan urged the University to live up to its highest ideals.

President ryan speaking to a crowd from a podium
Acceptance Speech

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors on Friday unanimously voted to name James E. Ryan as the University’s next president. He will return to UVA as president after serving since 2013 as dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He earned his law degree at UVA and was a law faculty member for 15 years.

Selected Writings