The University’s staff photographers have been visiting the Lawn this week, documenting the changes taking place in preparation for Final Exercises 2013. Staff photographer Cole Geddy took these shots on Wednesday and Thursday. See a post from earlier this week for comparisons. Click for bigger versions.
The preparations for Final Exercises 2013 are in full swing this week. University of Virginia staff photographer Cole Geddy took these pictures on the Lawn as work continued Tuesday. Click for bigger versions.
Of course, those working to transform the Lawn aren’t the only ones getting ready. Fellow U.Va. photographer Dan Addison put together a GIF to capture the sentiment among members of the Class of 2013.
Want a live look on the Lawn? Check the RotundaCam.
Meg Jay, an assistant clinical professor in the Curry School of Education, delivered a TED talk back in February that was just posted online.
In it, she discusses why 30 is not the new 20, and says 20-somethings need to make the most of an important period in their lives.
Check it out:
As always, final exams meant a relatively peaceful time around Grounds (outdoors at least; not for the libraries). The University Communications staff snapped a few Instagram photos during the week to capture the feel. Click for bigger versions.
Anyone who has been on the Lawn recently has probably noticed the Rotunda’s gleaming copper dome, a temporary condition related to its ongoing renovation. UVA Today recently reported that plans are underway to paint it white once again, but there’s been some comment from those – including Dean of Students Allen Groves – who really enjoy the copper look and think we should keep it that way.
In other Rotunda-related news, here’s a great video from Limeworks US, a company working on the restoration:
Thanks to our friends at the Thomas Jefferson Center For The Protection of Free Expression for this video, which shows a mural of Stephen Colbert – keynote speaker for the 2013 Valedictory Exercises – appearing on the Free Speech Monument on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville.
U.Va. Today’s Robert Hull Reports:
For two months, U.Va. students met with Buford Middle School students in Desmond Cormier’s art classes to develop ideas for a garden-themed mural design for the side of Buford’s gymnasium, facing the school’s garden.
This creative exchange had been established through a partnership between the U.Va. Student Arts Committee, Buford Middle School, the Charlottesville Mural Project and City Schoolyard Garden solely to plan a 2,200 square-foot mural adjacent to Buford’s garden.
Based on the conversations with students in the art classes at Buford, U.Va. first-year student Mary Kate Bailey designed the mural – with Photoshop assistance from second-year student Monica Mohaparta – as an intricate and geometric depiction of a garden landscape. Using a digital projector and a boom lift, the design was traced onto the wall at night.
For a month, students and teachers diligently worked at painting a colorful mural that would serve as a cornerstone of the arts and natural sciences for the students and faculty of Buford Middle School. They used over 25 gallons of paint in the creative process.
On Friday at 12:30 p.m., the garden-themed mural will be dedicated at Buford Middle School in a formal ceremony that will include Buford’s principal, teachers and students; U.Va. Student Arts Council students; Ross McDermott, director of Charlottesville Mural Project; Jody Kielbasa, U.Va. Vice Provost for the Arts; Sarah Lawson, director of Piedmont Council for the Arts; and many other local community leaders in the arts and education.
All visitors should access the school from Cherry Avenue, and sign in at the office before walking down to see the mural.
The Buford mural project will continue to expand the mission of the Charlottesville Mural Project, helping to facilitate the talents of local artists and designers while creating a more interesting visual landscape for the Charlottesville community. It also creates a model for more school-based murals that instill a sense of artistic sensibility and community collaboration.
To hear him tell it, William Faulkner had a good time as U.Va.’s first writer-in-residence. On June 5, 1957, during a reading from his novel “The Town” in Rouss Hall room 202, he had this to say of his stay at the University:
“It’s been so much pleasure that I am a little concerned about whether it could have done any good or not, that anything this much fun must be bad.”
Now, 56 years later, Faulkner still has deep ties to U.Va. A recent article in UVA Today describes English professor Stephen Railton’s plan to build a digital version of Yoknapatawpha County, the fictional northeastern Mississippi County that serves as the setting for 15 of Faulkner’s novels and 48 of his stories.
It’s also worth taking a look at – and giving a listen to – Railton’s previous digital humanities project, Faulkner at Virginia: An Audio Archive, which contains audio recordings of Faulkner’s speaking engagements at U.Va. in 1957 and 1958. You can hear Faulkner read from his works and respond to questions. His favorite work at the time?
“The one that—that failed the best, which was ‘The Sound and the Fury.’ None of them are quite good enough to suit me yet. That’s why I keep on writing another one. I like ‘The Sound and the Fury’ because that gave me the most anguish, the most trouble.”
Faulkner fans will also find a lot to like in the extensive William Faulkner Collection in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, which contains manuscripts, typescripts, letters, photographs, documents, books and other printed materials.
UVA Today’s Matt Kelly reports:
The last scaffolding encasing the Rotunda at the University of Virginia is coming down.
The scaffolding, erected around the building last May, was part of the first phase of extensive renovations and restorations to the centerpiece of the University. Workers replaced the leaking roof and the oculus skylight, and repaired the exterior brick walls, windows and ornamental sheet metal.
The scaffolding is coming down ahead of schedule. The exterior restoration work was to continue into the summer, and workers planned to remove the scaffolding for graduation and then re-erect it. But construction crews have finished the bulk of the work and once the scaffolding is down, it will remain down.
The calendar has flipped to May, and there on May 19, in big red letters, is “GRADUATION.” (Or, as well call it here on Mr. Jefferson’s Grounds, “Final Exercises.” Like the British, we seem to have a fancier way of describing things that have perfectly good names elsewhere.)
Assuming the fourth-year students (no “seniors” here, either, unless you’re over 65) pass all their final exams, there will inevitably arise a need for more information, i.e. “Can anyone go to Stephen Colbert’s talk?”
UVA Today will be publishing a lot of words about Final Exercises in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, there is one central resource that you should bookmark: The 2013 Final Exercises homepage.
The page is maintained by the pros at the Office of Major Events, headed up by Pam Higgins, who has been running graduations for a long time. (Clearly, she was a child prodigy.) When the site offers “Frequently Asked Questions,” it really means “frequently asked” — as in, asked hundreds of times over many, many years. So definitely take advantage and check out that site.
The World Wide Web has been second nature for so long, it’s sort of like oxygen.
That’s why it was so startling this morning when a colleague of mine sent me a link to a Gizmodo story celebrating the Web’s 20th anniversary. Really? Could it only have been two decades?
Life before the Web is sort of hazy. How did people find information quickly? Phone books and libraries and newspapers … You pretty much had to go to a bookstore for a book and a record store for music. Well, you could order things from home, but that required a catalog and some patience. Video was accessed on TV or at movie theaters.
Think of the fortunes that have been made, and lost.
Heck, 20 years ago I was a newspaper reporter. The paper I worked for is now defunct, and I’m writing a blog post. It could be argued that the Web is the most disruptive technology invented since the printing press.
CNN has a more in-depth piece on today’s cyber-significance. The Web itself actually dates back to 1989, when it was founded as “a way for scientists at different universities and other institutes to share information,” the article says. Today is the 20th anniversary of the day when “The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN … released, for free, the technology and software needed to run a Web server.”
It’s all very mind-boggling. And exciting.
As a U.Va. alumnus as well as an employee, I often hear from my school, the College of Arts & Sciences. A recent email highlighted the work of a couple of professors. One of them was particularly captivating, and I thought I would share it with a wider audience.
The article introduced studio art associate professor Lydia Moyer’s work this way:
When a tragedy first occurs, all eyes are on the site of the incident. But what happens to these places after the dust has settled? UVA Associate Studio Art Professor Lydia Moyer has spent years researching and creating a series of short documentaries exposing the landscapes of American tragedies, and has found that what is left behind after a tragedy can say much more about a community’s culture and values than what was there before it.
“Documentary” may not quite be the word to describe Moyer’s videos — they are more artful than that, though they are based in awful historic realities. Anyway, they are interesting, and haunting — especially given the news that we are constantly bombarded with, and our short attention spans. You can read more about Moyers’ work here, or you can go directly to her Vimeo channel and check out all five of the videos she has posted there.
UVA Innovation’s “What’s Next?” blog has the story of a fantastic new app developed by U.Va. engineering students:
Have you ever promised to let a friend know when you arrive home and forgotten to do it? There’s an app for that, and it was developed by U.Va. engineering students!
The app, called “WalkBack,” ingeniously uses smart phones’ built-in GPS to notify members of a group when their friends have made it home. Also, “Colleges can also anonymously use the data collected from WalkBack to make informed decisions on student safety.”
The app, created by fourth-year Duylam Nguyen Ngo and 2012 graduate Ashutosh Priyadarshy, is available for download from iTunes.