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The New International Encyclopædia/Virginia, University of

< The New International Encyclopædia

VIRGINIA, University of. An undenominational institution of higher learning at Charlottesville, Va., four miles from Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, its founder. It was chartered in 1819 and opened in 1825. The group of college buildings, planned by Jefferson and erected under his personal supervision, together with the recent additions made to harmonize with and complete his designs, constitute one of the most characteristic and artistic pieces of academic architecture in America. The quadrangle is about 1000 feet long and 300 feet wide. The dominant structure is the Rotunda, set centrally at the northern end, and modeled from the Roman Pantheon. It is now devoted to the university library. The courses of instruction are comprised in five departments: academic, engineering, law, medicine, and agriculture, comprising in all 22 schools, of which each affords an independent course under professors who are responsible only to the board of visitors, appointed by the Governor. The courses are purely elective. The degrees of bachelor of arts, law, and science, master of arts, doctor of philosophy, medicine, and law, civil, mechanical, mining, and electrical engineer are conferred only upon examination after residence. No honorary degrees are given. Qualified persons may be licensed by the faculty to form classes for private instruction in any school of the university. The university had in 1903 a student attendance of 619, 57 instructors, and a library of 48,500 volumes. In the same year its endowment was $378,850, with an income of $154,845, and its grounds and buildings were valued at $1,250,000.