April 13, 2014
Students at UVa gathered on the Lawn and at the Rotunda to celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s birthday with a few pieces of cake.
"I'm really excited,” says Daria Winsky, 2nd year student at UVa and president of the College Council. “This is an event that we've been planning for a while now and we wanted to do some big event for Jefferson's birthday to show how much we honor Jefferson because he really has left such a mark on this place."
Student guides were also placed inside the Rotunda, giving people the opportunity to learn more about the crown jewel of the university, before it goes through a two year renovation after this year’s final exercises.
Collin Waldoch, a third year student and guide for the university, says that he is sad that he will miss out on having the Rotunda during his graduation, but he is hopeful for the future of the building.
"What's pretty neat is that the rational for rebuilding it is to increase student involvement with the Rotunda,” says Waldoch. “In the early stage of the school it was the main library and in past years student interaction with the building has decreased.”
“I think after two years it's going to be a phenomenal student resource."
The day is also a special for secret societies on grounds.
"This morning at sun rise, the Society of the Purple Shadows walked up and down the lawn in their purple cloaks and interacted with hundreds of students who spent the night waiting for the purple shadows to arrive," says Waldoch.
Lists were also posted around the libraries, announcing new members of different secret societies.
With the beautiful weather on the lawn, it was easy to come out and celebrate the birth and life of Thomas Jefferson. With renovation plans for the rotunda underway, TJ’s B-day celebrations could be larger in the years to come.