Not the UVA I Remember

We are reposting this letter from a UVA alumnus describing a “Dean’s Welcome and Tour” his family took part in this spring at the University of Virginia. We took administrators at their word that the Admissions Office was revising tours to give prospective students a more enticing sales pitch than the UVA-history-of-oppression narrative coughed up by the Student Guides. If this experience was typical, we made a huge mistake. — JAB

Thank you for your websites and articles highlighting the challenges UVa and other universities are facing in the age of wokeness and relativism. It is only recently that I came to realize how much UVa has changed, and how grave the challenges it faces are.

After graduating from Darden, my wife and I moved outside of VA to build our career. For 20+ years, we nostalgically enjoyed our fond memories of the Grounds and the UVa experience. My wife and I raised our three kids under clear and overt UVa indoctrination, hoping to extend our fondness and great memories to the next generation. We visited Charlottesville multiple times with our 3 kids. We took them to football games. They grew up learning The Good Old Song and have proudly worn orange and blue since infants. We were raising Cavaliers.
Especially our second child. She is a UVa fanatic. Her whole childhood has been preparing for UVa. She has studied, worked hard, volunteered – all to get into UVa with the plan to study Neuroscience pre-med with a double major in Economics. She is proud of her 4.6 GPA with nearly 20 advanced courses, a Certified Nursing Assistant, trained phlebotomist, a volunteer at the … hospital emergency ward, a leader in 2 orchestras, a National Honor Society Officer, to name a few. All to earn a spot as a Wahoo.

This spring, we were beyond excited to finally formally tour the Grounds with our daughter (our first is studying Aerospace Engineering and UVa didn’t have the program for him). We were shocked by and furious with the tour. From the moment it began, we were lectured at and inundated with woke ideology and apologist tropes (after being told everyone’s pronouns). No history lesson of the Grounds, its architecture, or its purpose. No homage to TJ and his vision for the advancement of an enlightened society. No fabled stories about the secret societies, or traditions at the sporting events or around Grounds. Nothing.

In fact, our 3rd year tour guide couldn’t care less about The University. She even told us as much. Instead, her tour highlighted at every turn the atrocities and injustices current society inflicts on the university’s oppressed students (even though she was an out-of-state student on a full ride scholarship – such injustice). But don’t worry, she assured, there are formal safe spaces set up and plenty of opportunities to be an activist.

None of that topped what I saw on the Lawn. Those historic dorms. An honor once reserved for those 4th years who were Wahoos through and through. Who embodied all the good The University is and hopes to achieve. Those doors – covered in woke hate speech. Accusing The University, and anyone that didn’t agree with them, of oppression and abuse. Anti-white, antisemitic, anti-conservative, anti-Jefferson.

I was speechless. My daughter in near tears and disbelief. Was everything I told her of Dear Ol’ UVa a lie? Whatever it was, it wasn’t my UVa.

Once fully committed, she is now undecided on whether she will even apply to UVa. She says she will, but I think it is to not hurt my feelings. I promised her another tour this Fall, if she wanted. Maybe another football weekend to try and “close the deal.” But she has already told me that the University of Florida is now the top of her list. While it breaks my heart to hear that, there is a part of me that wonders if I’d rather send her there.

Strange times.

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Walter smith
Walter smith
17 days ago

By design. With intention. With the blessing of Jim Ryan. And the policies of admissions and whoever hands out scholarship money.

Whitt Clement was supposed to fix this. He told others he was on it. The Jefferson Council paid $3,205 to do an email search on the student guide issue. (UVA’s cost methodology is designed to discourage inquiries and is not done at the lowest reasonable cost, but that is a different issue.)

For the money, TJC got 300 pages of drivel with a bunch of people touching the issue, but nothing substantive. There were 2 emails from Whitt Clement. ONE report was produced of about 7 pages…withheld as a “working paper” of Jim Ryan’s.

Working papers do not have to be withheld. They may be disclosed. Certainly this is no great state secret like classified information. And while UVA Law has not objected to courts denying Trump’s attorney-client or executive privilege, certainly Jim Ryan’s privilege is nowhere near as important. Why is it withheld? Where was Whitt in follow up?

I can send you the blacked out pages if you’d like to see that the document exists. I just wonder why we, the citizens of the Commonwealth who supposedly are the owners and beneficiaries of the supposed “flagship” school of higher education and the alumni and those supposedly in charge of maintaining the traditions and legacy of UVA (that’s the BOV in the BOV Manual), can’t see it?

wahoowa
wahoowa
17 days ago

Too many brown and asian students these days, I miss the days when this was a school for real americans!

Walter smith
Walter smith
17 days ago
Reply to  wahoowa

Seriously. You’re the racist. Not one comment about race. About a tour that theoretically is “selling” UVA, and is instead selling it out. Telling not just a one-sided view – a distorted one. Let’s have a real, true, fair debate. Let’s examine the evidence.

Not just carefully curated puff pieces in UVA Pravda Today…

Clarity77
Clarity77
17 days ago
Reply to  wahoowa

Another leftist troll shows up.

Wahoo 76
Wahoo 76
17 days ago

I very seldom shed a tear. This is one of those times.

Allan W.
Allan W.
17 days ago

Imagine what happens 5 years from now when these students are in the working world ….

professionalgay
professionalgay
16 days ago

lmao you are so fucking stupid

walter smith
walter smith
16 days ago

I have lots of questions for you, brave and wise commenter.
Are you a student?
Are you on a scholarship?
What was your admissions essay?
What was your “struggle” that made you so wise at 17 years old that our Admissions department determined you would grow into a great citizen of the world, contributing your brilliance above?
Does UVA pay you to monitor and post “nullifying” comments, to avoid actual intellectual observation?
Were you one of the screaming maniacs at the Abigail Shrier event?
What is your position on the “occupation?”
If you really are a professional gay (do you mean a “sex worker” who engages in sex with people of the same sex if that can even be determined anymore?), are you prepared to be a professional gay in “free Palestine?”
So many questions…

APS, CLAS 93
APS, CLAS 93
14 days ago

The initial amount of money we’d set aside for UVA went to SMU as part of a four-year gift through SMU’s Rotunda Families program. We’re beyond thrilled our daughter is at SMU’s Cox School. She was wait-listed at UVA but apparently too far down the list. Sometimes things happen for a reason. We told her she was too open-minded for U.Va. She discovered a student body willing to engage in a constructive contest of ideas the way UVa existed in years past. Looking forward to the new ACC. Pony Up!

Hunter Hollar
Hunter Hollar
14 days ago

I suspect that many in the administration ranks would view this report as a sign of how far UVA has progressed. I do not share that view. I took my degree in Economics from the College in 1971.