June 26, 2012
What began as a silent vigil on Tuesday afternoon ended in screams, chants and cheers. Before the Board of Visitors meeting hundreds of Sullivan supporters stood in silence for 16 minutes, representing each day since Sullivan's resignation was announced. That same group burst into thunderous applause when it was announced that she would be reinstated.
The hundreds that gathered outside of the Rotunda say they have stood behind the school's first female leader since day one.
"She's brought a lot to the University and I think she will bring so much more, "said Tori Tucker, a UVa graduate student. "We stand behind our own and our family." It's a family that rallied together making sure their voices were heard.
"The board did the right thing and listened to us and gave us the president we all know and love," said Carli Hennessy, from the UVa Class of 2006. As promised, Teresa Sullivan addressed the crown after the meeting.
"With great strength we have discovered how deep our commitment to this University is and how committed we can be when we pursue it's best interest," said Teresa Sullivan. It's the first step towards rebuilding what some are calling a blemished reputation.
"The past couple of weeks made UVa look bad, like leadership was fractured, this showed that faculty and students have power," said Hennessy
"Nothing is perfect, but the way we came together to right this wrong, this hurt in the community, shows how strong we are," said Caitlin Morris, from the Class of 2012. It's a strength that Sullivan herself will rely on.
"I am not good enough or wise enough or strong enough to do everything that needs doing at UVa alone," said Sullivan. "But you have shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am not alone.