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Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals

The University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will present their highest honors, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in Architecture, Law, Citizen Leadership, and Global Innovation during their joint Founder's Day activities.

The awards are presented jointly by UVA, which he founded in Charlottesville in 1819, and by the Foundation, the independent, nonprofit organization that owns and operates his home, Monticello.

The 2016 recipients are:

Cecil Balmond OBE, the world’s leading thinker on form. A Sri Lankan-born architect, artist, writer and engineer, Balmond has earned international acclaim for his revolutionary approach. Former Deputy Chairman of the international, multi-disciplinary engineering firm ARUP and head of both the European Building Division and the AGO (Advance Geometry Unit), Balmond now runs his own practice, Balmond Studio. He received an Order of the British Empire for Services to Architecture in 2015.

Judge John Gleeson, a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York known for his active support for criminal justice reforms related to sentencing and for his prior work as the lead prosecutor in the case United States v. John Gotti, et. al.

Marian Wright Edelman, a lifelong advocate for disadvantaged Americans who has made a profound impact as the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. Edelman was previously awarded the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law in 1992.

Recipient of 2016 Inaugural Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Global Innovation
Gordon Moore, an American engineer, technologist and entrepreneur whose pioneering work in semiconductor electronics helped establish Silicon Valley and drive the Digital Age. Widely known for “Moore’s Law,” he predicted and guided the exponential growth of computing power, and co-founded the Intel Corporation, the world’s largest chip maker. 

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.

2016 Founders Day Events

Marian Wright Edelman will be the featured speaker at Monticello's commemoration of Jefferson's 273rd birthday, on April 13 at 10 a.m. on the West Lawn of Monticello with a pre-ceremony performance beginning at 9:45 a.m. The celebration is free and open to the public and will be livestreamed at She will also speak at the University of Virginia at 3:00 p.m. in Nau Hall the same day.

The School of Law will host a public talk by Judge Gleeson on April 13 at 10 a.m. in the Caplin Pavilion, followed by a reception and book signing.

The School of Architecture will host a public talk by Balmond at 3:00 pm on April 13 in the Ruth Caplin Theater in Arts Grounds, followed by a reception and book signing.


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