The University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello present their highest honors, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in Architecture, Law, and Citizen Leadership annually during their joint Founder's Day activities.
The awards are presented jointly by UVA, which Thomas Jefferson founded in Charlottesville in 1819, and by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the independent, nonprofit organization that owns and operates his home, Monticello.
Due to ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and limitations on events and travel, this year’s in-person events have been cancelled and the medals will be given in absentia.
The 2020 recipients are:
Architecture: Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, co-founders of the multidisciplinary design practice, WEISS/MANFREDI, known for redefining the relationships between landsape, architecture, infrastructure and art through their award-winning projects.
Citizen Leadership: Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation and a leader in global development. Shah was the USAID Administrator during President Barack Obama’s administration and has deep experience in business, government and philanthropy.
Global Innovation: Ted Turner, a media pioneer and philanthropist working to promote sustainability, environmental initiatives and charitable efforts around the world.
Law: Sonia Sotomayor, an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 after a distinguished legal career.
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.