In 1819, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia and inaugurated a bold experiment – a public university designed to advance human knowledge, educate leaders and cultivate an informed citizenry. Two centuries later, this vision is thriving. Across Grounds - and throughout the world - UVA students, faculty, staff and alumni challenge convention, break barriers and pursue the greater good. The University is an iconic public institution of higher education, boasting nationally ranked schools and programs, diverse and distinguished faculty, a major academic medical center and proud history as a renowned research university. The community and culture of the University are enriched by active student self-governance, sustained commitment to the arts and a robust NCAA Division I Athletics program.