News Releases

Dave Matthews will be the featured speaker at Monticello on July 4, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 30, 2013 Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Dave Matthews, best known as the lead vocalist/guitarist for Dave Matthews Band, will be the featured speaker at Monticello’s 51st annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony—the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony outside of a courtroom in the United States. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on January 9, 1967, Matthews became a naturalized American citizen in 1980. His family moved frequently during his childhood, spending time in the U.S. and England in addition to South Africa, and he credits their travels with widening his frame of reference. Matthews, who took piano lessons as a child before picking up the guitar at age nine, moved to Charlottesville,...


Original artwork for US Airmail stamp honoring Filippo (Philip) Mazzei.
Sr. Margherita Marchione to visit Monticello for donation celebration CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—In July 1816, after learning of the death of Filippo Mazzei, his friend for more than four decades, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “An intimacy of 40 years had proved to me his great worth; and a friendship, which had begun in personal acquaintance, was maintained after separation, without abatement by a constant interchange of letters. His esteem too in this country was very general; his early and zealous cooperation in the establishment of our independence having acquired for him here a great degree of favor.”  The Thomas Jefferson Foundation has received a donation of the Mazzei Archive from Sister Margherita Marchione. The Mazzei Archive is the definitive working archive of Filippo (Philip) Mazzei...


Donald A. King, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees and David M. Rubenstein
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 20, 2013 Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.–David Rubenstein’s gift will reveal more of Jefferson’s Monticello for visitorsMonticello today announced it will receive a $10 million gift from David M. Rubenstein, philanthropist and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group. The gift, one of Monticello’s largest, will help restore upper floors of the house and reconstruct Mulberry Row, the adjacent plantation community where slaves and workers lived, allowing visitors to experience Monticello much as Jefferson himself knew it. Monticello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reflects the genius, ideals, ambitions, and realities of its creative and complex owner.  “Monticello is one of our nation’s most important historic and cultural institutions, a...


The newly refurnished North Octagonal Room
The Second Floor North Octagonal room has been restored FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 2, 2013 Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Visitors on Monticello’s Behind-the-Scenes tour will now experience a newly furnished upstairs room as part of their tour starting this week. The north octagonal bedroom on the second floor is now being interpreted as “Aunt Marks’ Room,” the space occupied by Jefferson’s sister.  The room has been installed to help interpret family life at Monticello. Anne Scott Marks (October 1, 1755 - July 8, 1828), Thomas Jefferson’s youngest sister was called “Aunt Marks” by Jefferson’s children and grandchildren. She had no children of her own and was left impoverished after her husband’s death in 1811. She came to live at Monticello in 1811...


Jon Meacham
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 8, 2013 Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.–Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the private, nonprofit organization that has owned and operated Monticello since 1923. “Spending time at Monticello is as close as any of us can ever get to having a conversation with Thomas Jefferson,” said Meacham. “The Foundation does a remarkable job not only in preserving a unique American—indeed global—historical site but in producing and encouraging honest, rigorous, and forthright scholarly work on Jefferson and his world. I am honored to be able to play whatever role I can in furthering Monticello's mission of following the truth wherever it leads.” Meacham is the...


No better place to experience wine and history! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 28, 2013 Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529 Charlottesville, VA.—The fourth annual Wine Festival at Monticello celebrates Thomas Jefferson’s lasting influence on the Virginia wine industry—and kicks off Saturday, May 11, 2013, 6-9 p.m., on the West Lawn of Monticello. Jefferson has been called “America’s first distinguished viticulturist” and the “greatest patron of wine and winegrowing that this country has yet had.” It was at Monticello where Jefferson stored his favorite wines from European vineyards in his wine cellar and grew grapes in hopes of producing his own wine. During the Wine Festival at Monticello, visitors can enjoy the splendor of spring, taste Virginia’s best selection of wines and stroll...


Wendy Kopp
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 5, 2013 Media Contacts: Brevy Cannon, 434-243-0368 and Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529 CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., March 5, 2013 — The University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will present their highest honors, the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in architecture, law and citizen leadership, to, respectively: Laurie Olin, a distinguished professor, author and renowned landscape architect whose designs include the Washington Monument Grounds in Washington, D.C. and Bryant Park in New York City. Robert S. Mueller III, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who has led the bureau’s post-9/11 transformation. Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America, which has inspired more than 38,...


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 21, 2013 Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA–Glynn D. Key of Washington D.C. (and Trevose, Pa.) and Gilbert P. Schafer, III, AIA, of New York, New York, have been elected members of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the private, nonprofit organization that has owned and operated Monticello since 1923. Key, a Chattanooga, TN native, has a distinguished record of service to Jeffersonian interests.  She is a 1986 graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar, Jefferson Scholar and chairwoman of the Honor Committee. She received a law degree from the University in 1989, and while in law school served as the student representative on the Board of Visitors. In 2004 she was appointed...


           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 18, 2013 Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB), Monticello and Montpelier announce the re-launch of the Presidents Passport— a cooperative marketing program designed to encourage tourism to the greater Charlottesville area—with a significant sweepstakes totaling more than $1,000 in prizes. The program, “Presidents Passport,” is supported by a marketing partnership with the CACVB, Monticello, and Montpelier. The program now has more than 7,700 members and has connected more than 55 travel partners in the area, ensuring that members of the program will have access to all the best the Charlottesville area has to offer....


Monticello's new chairman, Donald A. King, Jr.
Goode elected vice chairman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 1, 2013 Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Donald A. King, Jr., of Keswick, Va., has been elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., the private, nonprofit corporation that has owned and operated Monticello since 1923. King succeeds H. Eugene Lockhart, Jr., of Keswick. David Goode was elected vice chairman. The officers’ terms began January 2013. “Gene Lockhart has benefitted Monticello with his strategic acumen and global perspective on the Foundation’s activities.  He is a true friend to Monticello and was an exceptional leader,” said Thomas Jefferson Foundation President & CEO Leslie Greene Bowman. “Under Gene’s tenure we opened the Robert H. Smith...


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