Lisa Stites, Monticello, 434-984-7529 & Marian Anderfuren, University of Virginia, 434-243-2293

February 28, 2012 — The University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will present their highest honors, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in architecture, law and citizen leadership, during Founder's Day activities on April 13.

The awards are presented jointly on April 13 – Jefferson's birthday – by U.Va., which he founded in Charlottesville in 1819, and by the Foundation, the independent, nonprofit organization that owns and operates his home, Monticello.

This year's recipients:

  • Rafael Moneo, a Spanish architect known for innovative modern buildings that respect  existing environments, will receive the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture. 
  • George Mitchell, former U.S. senator and statesman who brokered a peace accord in Northern Ireland, will receive the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law.
  • Jessica Tuchman Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will receive the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals are the highest external honors bestowed by the University, which grants no honorary degrees. They recognize achievements of those who embrace endeavors in which Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president, excelled and held in high regard.

"This year's medal recipients have each in their own way made the world more beautiful, secure and environmentally safe through their hard work and scholarship," U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said. "The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals, now in their 46th year, celebrate these leaders, all of whom have dedicated their talents to the public good." 

"Thomas Jefferson's continuous quest for knowledge and the breadth of his curiosity and intellect inspired a young nation," said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the

The medals, struck for the occasion, will be presented by Bowman and Sullivan at a luncheon in the Dome Room of the Rotunda. The recipients will be honored at a dinner at Monticello on April 12, and each will give a public talk.

Founder’s Day Events

Jefferson’s Birthday Celebration at Monticello: Mathews will also be the featured speaker at Monticello's commemoration of Jefferson's 269th birthday April 13 at 10 a.m. on the West Lawn of Monticello. The celebration is free and open to the public.

The School of Architecture will host a public talk on April 13 at 3 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium.

The School of Law will host a public talk by George Mitchell on April 13 at the Caplin Pavilion, time to be announced.

The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy will host a talk by Jessica Tuchman Mathews on April 12 at noon in Garrett Hall.

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Editors: You are invited to cover the medal presentations and recipients' remarks in the Dome Room and any of the public lectures. Contacts: