200 and Growing Celebrating the past two centuries. And the next.

It began as a dream, the Academical Village, a revolutionary model of higher education for a country born of revolution. In this special issue, we celebrate that dream come to life.

We note some of our more noteworthy alumni, and we remember some of the more memorable professors. A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian offers a fresh assessment of our founder two centuries hence, and other resident experts put the coming century into perspective. And, as we count 200 years, we add up just what makes UVA UVA.

It began as a dream, built to the scale of a new nation. Today it opens up to even grander possibilities.

The Lawn in 1856, as etched by J. Serz

Then: The University started with just 196¾ acres in 1817 but had expanded to twice as much space around the time it opened in 1825 to several dozen students and a handful of professors. In contrast to most colleges at the time, Thomas Jefferson designed his University around a library, in the Rotunda, instead of a chapel. The steel engraving above shows the Rotunda and the Lawn in 1856, as etched by J. Serz.

Using the same perspective as the Serz engraving, Steve Hedberg depicts a broader view of Grounds as it looks today.

Now: The University today encompasses 1,200 acres that straddle the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. This fall, nearly 25,000 students enrolled. This artwork, showing a broader view of Grounds with the same perspective as the Serz engraving, was painted by Virginia Magazine’s creative director, Steve Hedberg.

More to explore in this special bicentennial issue…