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Two Professors Receive UVa's Highest Honor during Academic Ceremony

September 27, 2013

The University of Virginia’s Fall Convocation is all about awarding academic excellence and today over 414 third year students received awards for their academic efforts thus far.

Students in the top 20 percent of their class, with more than 60 credit hours were awarded intermediate honors during fall convocation.

This award comes in the middle of their college career, but students do not expect this one to be their last.

“I think this will just make me push harder to keep doing well,” says third year student Brittney Williams. “I feel honored and humbled by it, I didn't know I was doing as well as I am.”

“We're just proud that she has remained focused and motivated towards her goal,” says Williams’ mother Sheri Fayton.

“It's just absolutely overwhelming for her to have these achievements at such an historic institution,” says Tony Williams, father of Williams.

Parents were all smiles as they watched students receive their honors and listened to the Dean of the School of Nursing give the keynote address.

The recipients of the Thomas Jefferson Award were also announced. The Thomas Jefferson Award is the University's highest honor bestowed to faculty and this year two faculty members were awarded; Law Professor A. E. Dick Howard and Gordon Stewart, the interim associate dean for undergraduate academic programs.

“My life has been so intertwined with my students and my fellow faculty and this university generally that to have this honor conferred is something stunningly wonderful,” says Howard. “I’m very touched and flattered by it.”

“To be grouped with the people who have received this award earlier is a very humbling experience,” says Stewart.

Stewart started teaching at UVa 41 years ago and Howard is in his 50th year at the Law School.

With nearly 100 years of teaching experience between the two of them it's no surprise that they were given this honor.

The Thomas Jefferson Award was established back in 1955 to recognize excellence in service.
Both recipients were selected in secret by a committee and didn't know they won the award until it was announced during the ceremony.

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