4 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens, being then the objects of education in the primary schools, whether private or public, in them should be taught reading, writing & numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration (useful in so many callings) and the outlines of geography and history, and this brings us to the point at which are to commence the higher branches of education, of which the legislature require the development: those for example which are to form the statesmen, legislators & judges, on whom public prosperity, & individual happiness are so much to depend.

      This object of primary education sounds a bit like a general mission statement for the University. In particular, I found interesting the line about forming "statesmen, legislators and judges." This phrasing seems to resemble an element of UVA's current mission statement, which states that UVA serves by "developing responsible citizen leaders and professionals." It's cool to see how these two statements that were made almost 200 years apart are actually very similar, and communicate a lasting goal of the University. Statesmen, legislators, and judges I think would definitely translate to being considered prominent citizen leaders and professionals in today's world. I also like the rest of the line ,"on whom public prosperity, & individual happens are so much to depend." This speaks a lot to the purpose of the dedication to creating citizen leaders, in that it is beneficial to the public to have more of these virtuous figures, and that it brings one fulfillment to achieve this position. [](http://www.virginia.edu/statementofpurpose

      Link to UVA's mission statement

    2. To these should be added the arts, which embellish life, dancing music & drawing; the last more especially, as an important part of military education. These innocent arts furnish amusement & happiness to those who, having time on their hands, might less inoffensively employ it; needing, at the same time, no regular incorporation with the institution, they may be left to accessory teachers,

      These sentences seem to form a little bit of a contradiction, in that at first the report says that the arts are important/valuable, but then saying they need not be "incorporated with the institution." Nonetheless, they do show some thoughts about the arts back when UVA was being founded. In my current engagement class, Art: Inside/Out, we always discuss how art comes into play in our daily lives and how people view art on large and small scales. I see these same themes in this part of the report, because it is reflecting on how the commissioners see art and for what purpose they think it serves. In this case, its seems the purposes are either for military use or plain enjoyment. I believe if we asked the University community what the value and purpose of art is today, we would see a stark contrast to this, as well as an extreme variety of answers. Many people would say that art might be to spread a message or support some larger movement. Today we see the presence of art so much at UVA, such as through musical and theater groups, public art installations like the curiosity shop, or the mural on the side of the Graduate Charlottesville Hotel.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      In my Engagements class, Thinking Like a Scientist, one of the main topics we discuss is how people make judgements of the information they read and how they decide what is valid. As were read over time, we aim to become better at distinguishing valid and invalid information. It seems that this goal of the university, “to improve by reading, his morals and faculties,” falls into alignment with this debate. I think that when we read, we are both absorbing the information presented and also formulating our own judgements and interpretations of it. This in turn helps us develop personal views about the world, thus cultivating some of our morals and faculties. By carefully evaluating a reading’s information and determining its validity, we are making judgements that align with certain morals and ways of thinking that we already have and are improving upon them. I like how even at the time of the university’s founding these ideas are present within the school’s academics, and now they are still present in a class in our new curriculum.

    2. Encouraged therefore by the sentiments of the Legislature, manifested in this statute, we present the following tabular statement of the branches of learning which we think should be taught in the University, forming them into groups, each of which are within the powers of a single professor.

      In Thomas Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia", Query 15, "Colleges, buildings, and roads," discusses some of his views and observations of what kinds of these things existed at the time. He starts off by giving an overview of the College of William and Mary, which once was "the only public seminary of learning in this state" (276). T.J. describes the structure of W&M's first schools of learning at the time, which consisted of only six schools or "professorships" (Law, medicine, mathematics, moral philosophy, modern languages, and Indian conversion to Christianity). He comments that it would be proper for the college to soon add more professorships, specifically more of those of science and the ancient languages and literature of the North. I would say that these observations of W&M served as some inspiration to Jefferson's ideas for UVA that he describes in the Rockfish report. The commissioners provide an outline of the desired branches of learning which consist of ten branches, covering significantly more material than the six offered by W&M at the time. Also, Jefferson sticks to his notion of the importance of the Ancient Languages and the Sciences which he suggested for W&M, which can be seen through the prevalence of these languages and a vast variety of scientific topics within the proposed branches. Jefferson used his observations of the only Virginian college of the time and expanded on its structure when designing his own university. http://web.archive.org/web/20110221131407/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=JefVirg.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=15&division=div1