Ruffner Hall was probably considered to be quite handsome when it opened as the home of the Curry School of Education in 1973, after more than a dozen years of planning and construction.
Four decades later, it feels more than a little dated. When Bavaro Hall was built on the parking lot that separated Ruffner from Emmett Street, more than a few people commented on how it improved the views for passing motorists and pedestrians. Like its 1970s-era cousins University Hall, the Alderman Road residence halls and the pre-renovation Law School, the fairly funky Ruffner feels, well, a little out of place.
That doesn’t prevent Ruffner’s denizens from reminiscing a bit as the building closes for 18 months of renovation and modernizing.
Let’s not be naive: colleges and universities “steal” traditions all the time (though in deference to the Honor System, let’s just say “share”). For instance, legend has it that U.Va. adopted it’s orange-and-blue school colors from a scarf that a student had recently brought back from Princeton University — and that those colors were subsequently “shared” with Auburn University.
In that vein, Ithaca College in upstate New York has a cool New Year’s tradition. Apparently, there are two fairly tall residential halls, located side-by-side atop a hill, that have nice, orderly windows. By putting lights in some of the windows and keeping the others dark, Ithaca’s version of Facilities Management can spell out the last two digits of the year — one digit in each building. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, they change the lighting pattern to the digits of the new year.
The temporary dining hall N2, positioned directly in front of Peabody Hall on the University of Virginia Grounds while U.Va. Dining Services renovated the dining facilities in Newcomb Hall, served its last lunch Tuesday.
The first impression of N2, for Newcomb Two, was the glass — windows going all the way up to the 18-foot ceilings on the ground floor. The sunlight streamed in during the day and the artificial light beamed out at night, creating a festive air. The exterior was white, with silver mechanicals, and the first impression was a UFO. The second impression was a cathedral of food.
Just a reminder that the 12th annual Lighting of the Lawn is set for Thursday night. We’ve even arranged for more seasonably appropriate weather, which should allow you to show off your holiday wardrobe.
If you haven’t been before, there’s a whole lot more to the evening than just throwing a switch and lighting up the Academical Village. According to the UVA Today article, “U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan will kick off the evening by welcoming the crowd, expected to reach 7,000 over the course of the night. Approximately 20 a cappella groups will perform at various intervals on the Rotunda steps. The evening will culminate with the illumination of the Lawn, immediately following the reading of a humorous poem noting the U.Va.-themed highlights of 2012 by Larry Sabato, a professor of politics in the College and director of U.Va.’s Center for Politics, and School of Nursing Dean Dorrie Fontaine. Warm refreshments and light snacks will also be provided.”
The festivities get under way at 7 p.m. and should wrap up around 10. The whole community is welcome, so y’all come!
Sometimes it seems like the people who actually have to live with construction on Grounds are the least informed about what’s going on. The eye-catching poster above advertises what should be a great event tonight, put together by U.Va. Student Council: A forum for students to be updated on the projects that are affecting, or will affect, their daily lives.
The lineup of presenters should be able to speak pretty authoritatively:
McCormick Road Bridge: Jay Klingel, Director of Operations and Maintenance, Facilities Management Department
Rotunda Restoration: Annette Cyphers, Director of Facilities Planning and Construction, Facilities Management Department
Newcomb Dining and N2: Dade Van Der Werf, Supervisory Senior Project Manager, Facilities Management Department,
New Dorm Construction: Patricia Romer, Director of Plans and Programs, Housing Division
UVA BikeShare: Andrew Greene, Sustainability Planner, Office of the University Architect
Student Memorial Garden Renovation: Matt Wertman, Student Council Building and Grounds Committee Member
Future Projects: Donald Sundgren, Chief Facilities Officer, Facilities Management Department
(Don’t forget to DVR the U.Va. basketball game before you head out.)
To share a footnote from the lunch, the workers were each given T-shirts. On the front was the obligatory Jefferson quote (“If our house be on fire, we must try to extinguish it,” which probably had a less literal meaning when T.J. wrote it). On the back was this graphic designed by Sarita M. Herman of U.Va.’s Geospatial Resource Center and James Zehmer, Chimney Repair & Sprinkler Installation Project Manager:
Time is flying by. Could “Tomtoberfest” really have been two weeks ago?
OK, I realize the Tomtoberfest was probably not on the world’s calendars, though it seemed like a pretty successful event when it happened Oct. 27. Billed as “an Elliewood Block Party and Corner Crawl: a FREE day of grilling, live music and beer gardens, that celebrates Innovation at UVA and in the Community,” the event celebrated U.Va. research and entrepreneurship, while encouraging some creative thought on possible uses for the plaza in front of the OpenGrounds Studio. (Check out the Newsplex’s report, or the Cavalier Daily report.)
If that all sounds good to you, you can still capture a little of the conversation. UVA Innovation has archived several interviews that WTJU station manager Nathan Moore conducted with various “voices of innovation” from around the University and made them available on the U.Va. Innovation YouTube channel. Listen to the Tomtoberfest interviews here.
To keep these materials out of landfills, UVA Recycling has created an extensive “E-cycling” program to reduce waste and conserve resources. For convenience, UVA Recycling provides eight e-cycling receptacles (listed here) across Grounds. To recycle electronics in an office, simply label a box with “e-cycling” and place inside your recycling office area for the UVA Recycling staff to collect.
If you’re unsure about an item, simply call UVA Recycling at 982-5050 for guidance.
To recycle your household electronics, click here.
The Daily Rotunda has a fun Pinterest page of photos from Halloween around Grounds, including, of course, Trick or Treating on the Lawn. I love that U.Va.’s sports teams got into the spirit, too. The photo above is from our nationally ranked field hockey team’s practice.
Mark Johnson is a busy — and successful — Hollywood producer, working on between two and four films a year. He makes time for two things: chairing the Foreign Language Film Award Committee for the Oscars, and the Virginia Film Festival.
A 1971 graduate of U.Va.’s College of Arts & Sciences, Johnson has been coming to the festival since it started in 1987. He’ll be there again Thursday when the 2012 festival kicks off with a screening of his new film, “Not Fade Away.”
He’ll also be given a couple of nice honors. Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has issued a proclamation in his honor, and the festival itself will present him with a silver-anniversary award.
Sandy can’t ruin our fun! The annual Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn is still on for Wednesday, from 4 to 6 p.m. Believe me, the student look forward to this event as much as, or more than, the local children and their adults who attend.
A reminder that free parking for families attending the event will be available beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the lots at Scott Stadium and University Hall and at 4 p.m. in the garage on Culbreth Road. Paid hourly parking will be available in the Central Grounds Parking Garage on Emmet Street.
UPDATE, MONDAY, 11:10 a.m.: The opera is still on, but the Charlottesville performance sites will not be admitting viewers. According to an announcement from the organizers, “People can watch live from the comfort and safety of their homes; details at www.auksalaq.org.”
A week ago, we wrote about “Auksalaq,”music professor Matthew Burtner’s innovative and challenging new Internet production that was to be staged simultaneously by performers at several sites around the world. (There was a good story about it on WVTF.)
The premiere is scheduled for Monday at 5 p.m. EST — when, of course, the entire East Coast is supposed to be under siege by a major storm. The ironic part: The opera is about climate change.
Anyway, Sandy has altered some plans, but the show is going on. After the break, here’s what the organizers are saying as of Sunday afternoon:
The mural above, executed by Norfolk artist Sam Welty, appeared Wednesday on the Free Speech Wall on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall to promote a Virginia Film Festival screening of “A Journey to Darfur,” a documentary about Nick and George Clooney’s travels to the troubled region of Africa.