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8th Annual American Democracy Conference Opens Thursday

Free Event Examines 2005 Election Results and 2006 Midterm Trends

11/28/05 | Party insiders, leading journalists and political pundits will gather on Thursday to examine the impact of the 2005 election results and their impact on the national political environment, as well as to look ahead to the 2006 midterm elections and how current trends may affect their outcome. The eighth annual American Democracy Conference, titled Setting the Table: The 2005 Off Year Elections and the 2006 Midterm Elections will take place on Thursday, December 1, 2005, at the Hotel Washington in Washington, DC from 9:00 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. The University of Virginia Center for Politics hosts this year's conference in coordination with National Journal's The Hotline. Scheduled to be broadcast both live and on tape delay by the C-SPAN network, the event is free and open to the public and members of the media with advance registration. Registration is available online at

The American Democracy Conference brings together America's top political insiders, pollsters, journalists, party representatives, and behind-the-scenes strategists to discuss the most recent election and to look forward to the upcoming political season.

American Democracy Conference
Setting the Table: The 2005 Off Year Elections
and the 2006 Midterm Elections

Thursday, December 1, 2005 at the Hotel Washington

8:00-9:00am Continental Breakfast

9:00-10:15am Panel Discussion I - The Declining Bush Mandate
Moderator: Larry J. Sabato, Center for Politics
Panelists: Fred Barnes, Fox News
                 Carl Cannon, National Journal
                 Rosiland Jordan, NBC News
                 Susan Page, USA Today

10:30-11:45am Panel Discussion II - The 2006 Midterms
Moderator: John Mercurio, The Hotline
Panelists: Carl Forti, NRCC
                 Chris LaCivita, LaCivita Consulting
                 John Lapp, DCCC
                 J.B. Poersch, DSCC

12:00-1:15pm Panel Discussion III - Seeing Red: What's Next for the Republicans?
Moderator: Chuck Todd, The Hotline
Panelists: John Brabender, BrabenderCox
                 Kellyanne Conway, the polling company, inc.
                 Tony Fabrizio, Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates
                 Craig Shirley, Shirley & Banister Public Affairs

Corporate underwriting for the American Democracy Conference is being provided by Altria. The Center for Politics is grateful to all of its sponsors for their support.

Elections are the seminal event in the life of our democracy. Not only do they set the direction of our republic, campaigns and elections help to shed light on America's state of political health. It is altogether fitting then, that an examination of our democracy and its current state take place in conjunction with those elections. Each year, shortly after the November elections, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, in partnership with the National Journal's The Hotline, presents the American Democracy Conference. Growing from the first National Post Election Conference in 1998, these gatherings now not only examine the last election cycle, but also attempt to discuss the state of American democracy and its prospects for the future.

        Learn more about the American Democracy Conference


"Think, Act, Vote!" - Nation's Largest Online,
Student-Only Mock Election Underway

Thousands of Schools Participating in Center for Politics'
Youth Leadership Initiative

11/01/05 | Polls are currently open in the Youth Leadership Initiative's 2005 Mock Election, offering educators in Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia the opportunity to directly engage students in the excitement of the American electoral process. Between October 24 and November 3, 2005, students in participating YLI schools will have the opportunity to cast their vote using secure, state-of-the art electronic ballots. In Virginia and New Jersey, students will be able to vote in their state's gubernatorial race, with Virginia students additionally able to cast votes in races for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and the House of Delegates. Through a partnership with the Georgia Secretary of State, Georgia students will have the opportunity to vote on many important issues facing young people today.

The YLI Mock Election is the largest secure, student-only mock election in the nation. The 2005 Mock Election builds upon the success of the 2004 YLI Mock Election, which witnessed the participation of over 800,000 students in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories and American schools abroad. Throughout this year's two-week voting period, students will learn about the election process firsthand by casting electronic cyber-ballots specifically tailored to each student's home voting location. To that end, the YLI Mock Election is strictly an academic exercise and is not designed or intended to be predictive of the results of the General Election.

A national research study conducted by University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato and Chief of Staff Ken Stroupe has found conclusively that new and innovative methods of civic education can succeed where current methods have proven inadequate. According to Stroupe, "the apathy of today's generation toward politics is a symptom of society's neglect of civic education." However, he adds that "students in classes where teachers used the political participation exercises and the Mock Election reported a higher tendency towards future political participation."

As of the opening of the polls in the 2005 Mock Election, nearly 7,000 educators representing almost 3,000 schools in Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia alone had registered to participate with the Youth Leadership Initiative. Ballots for these races are available in both online and paper formats, with web tools available to create custom-formatted ballots. Supporting lesson plans on campaigns, elections and more--including candidate comparisons in the VA and NJ gubernatorial races--are provided to participating teachers. A fun and interactive classroom toolkit can be requested by teachers when they log on to the YLI web site (

The secure on-line polls opened at 7am on Monday October 24th and will remain open until 5pm Eastern Time on Thursday, November 3rd. Results of the Mock election will be publicly available on Friday, November 4th.

        Learn more about the Youth Leadership Initiative


Craig Crawford to Discuss "Attack the Messenger"

Explores how Politicians Turn the Public Against the Media

10/24/05 | The Center for Politics is pleased to welcome author, columnist, and political analyst Craig Crawford to the grounds of the University of Virginia, to discuss his new book in the Center for Politics' American Political Challenges book series, Attack the Messenger: How Politicians Turn You Against the Media.

This event will take place at 7:00pm in Rotunda at the University of Virginia on Wednesday, October 26, 2005. In Attack the Messenger, Craig Crawford traces how politicians' manipulation of the media, which is not a new trend and took place even in the administrations of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, has become an integral part of modern political strategies. The event is free and open to the public and it will feature an in-depth look at the issue, followed by a book signing and reception.

Politicians and the Media are natural enemies, but now it's all-out war. And the truth is hard to find. If the press is not believed--or believable--because politicians have turned the public against it, then the press is not free and is under the thumbs of politicians. Without a free press, there is no democracy. Craig Crawford has seen it all up close and personal, and he is disturbed by what he sees. In Attack the Messenger, Crawford shares the detailed inside stories about how politicians managed to turn the tables, as well as tips on how to get the real story and what can be done to restore professional journalism and truth in politics.

Craig Crawford is one of Washington, DC's most popular commentators; his wit and wisdom are featured almost daily on national television and radio programs including The Early Show on CBS, various programs on CNBC and MSNBC, and CBS Network radio. A White House columnist for Congressional Quarterly, he is also a frequent commentator for NBC's Nightly News, CBS's Evening News, and Imus in the Morning.

Attack the Messenger has been hailed by top journalists in the field. NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams says, "It's all here--the good, the bad and the ugly...and cable, too--all compiled by a political pro with a jeweler's eye for detail and the distance vision of a fighter pilot. Craig Crawford knows his beat." MSNBC's Keith Olbermann describes it as a cautionary tale about "how lies are made into the truth, and truth made into lies; how the liars come to be perceived as victims and the truth-tellers, evil-doers." Syndicated columnist Dave Barry adds, "I have covered many a presidential campaign with Craig Crawford, and I can honestly say that, of all the so-called 'political experts' out there, he definitely consumes the most cheeseburgers."

This event is free and open to the public; members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Matt Smyth ( or 434-243-8466) to reserve space.

        Read more about Attack the Messenger


"What's the Matter with Kansas?"

Author Thomas Frank to Discuss Populism and Partisan Politics

10/18/05 | The Center for Politics is pleased to welcome author, editorial contributor and University of Virginia alumnus Thomas Frank to the grounds of the University of Virginia, to discuss his new book, What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. This event will take place at 6:30pm in the Mezzanine of the University Bookstore on Thursday, October 20, 2005. In What's the Matter with Kansas?, Thomas Frank traces how conservatism, once a marker of class privilege, became the creed of millions of ordinary Americans. The event is free and open to the public and it will feature an in-depth look at these issues, followed by a book signing and reception.

With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on what he calls the "thirty-year backlash"--the populist revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment. The high point of that backlash is the Republican Party's success in building the most unnatural of alliances: between blue-collar Midwesterners and Wall Street business interests, workers and bosses, populists and right-wingers.

Thomas Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler and is the author of One Market Under God and The Conquest of Cool. He is also a contributor to Harper's, The Nation, and The New York Times op-ed page. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Virginia's College of Arts and Sciences, and his latest book, What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, first appeared on the New York Times bestseller list in mid-2004, and still resides there.

Hailed as "dazzlingly insightful and wonderfully sardonic" (Chicago Tribune), "very funny and very painful" (San Francisco Chronicle), and "in a different league from most political books" (the New York Observer), What's the Matter with Kansas? purports to unravel the great political mystery of our day: Why do so many Americans vote against their economic and social interests? With his unique style and sense of humor, Thomas Frank answers the riddle by examining his home state, Kansas-a place once famous for its radicalism that now ranks among the nation's most eager participants in the culture wars.

This event is free and open to the public; members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Matt Smyth ( or 434-243-8466) to reserve space.

        Read more about What's the Matter with Kansas?


"Who Controls the Black Vote?"

Prof. and Analyst Ron Walters to Discuss Freedom is Not Enough

9/7/05 | The Center for Politics is pleased to welcome author, scholar, professor and analyst Dr. Ronald W. Walters, to the grounds of the University of Virginia, to discuss his new book, Freedom is Not Enough: Black Voters, Black Candidates, and American Presidential Politics. This event will take place at 7:00pm in the South Meeting Room of Newcomb Hall on Thursday, September 22, 2005. In Freedom is Not Enough, Dr. Ronald Walters traces the history of the Black vote since 1965, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2005, and explains how passing a law is not the same as ensuring its enforcement, legitimacy and opportunity. The event will feature an in-depth look at these issues and will be followed by a book signing and reception.

According to University of Pennsylvania's Mary Frances Berry, "Walters carefully explains why the Democratic Party's most faithful constituency--African Americans--is the least rewarded and appreciated and what can be done about it. His solution: an independent political strategy for African Americans." Freedom is Not Enough has also received high praise from Russell Simmons and Rev. Jesse Jackson, and has been reviewed in newspapers across the country.

Other topics covered by Dr. Walters include:

  • The Dilution of Black Voting Power by the Supreme Court
  • Disenfranchisement in Florida in 2000
  • The Impact of the Black Vote in the 2004 Presidential Election
  • The Jesse Jackson Model
  • The Black Civic Culture of Elections

Dr. Ronald W. Walters is an internationally renowned expert in the field of African American leadership and politics, and he is the director of the African American Leadership Institute. The author of over 100 articles and six books, Dr. Walters has received many academic awards and often appears on major broadcast media, such as ABC Nightline and NBC Today, as well as in numerous national newspapers. Dr. Walters served as deputy campaign manager for issues in Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign and consultant for convention issues in 1988.

This event is free and open to the public; members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Matt Smyth ( or 434-243-8466) to reserve space.

        Read more about books from the Center for Politics


UVA Center for Politics Launches Nationwide Teaching Effort for "Constitution Week" - September 11-17

Free Resources for Teachers to Meet New Federal Law Requirements

9/1/05 | Anticipating the 218th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution (September 17, 2005) the UVA Center for Politics' Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) has developed new classroom resources to assist schools in meeting a new federal law requiring that a program on the U.S. Constitution be taught each year around the date of the anniversary. YLI is now distributing the new teaching resources to tens of thousands of K-12 classroom teachers nationwide. More than 25,000 teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and American schools abroad participate in programs offered by YLI, the signature project of the Center for Politics. YLI resources are available free-of-charge to participating schools at

"We've heard from many teachers and administrators who are anxious about this new legislation and want to be prepared. The interest in these new materials is extremely high. In fact, we've never seen it as high as it is this year." said YLI Director of Instruction Lea Brown. "We've been preparing for this since Congress adopted the proposal by Senator Robert Byrd last year. Our instructional staff worked through the spring and summer to create a well-rounded series of lesson plans to meet the needs of K-12 teachers across the nation."

Free Constitution-related lesson topics available for teachers to download include:

- The Preamble to the Constitution: What Is the Role of Government?
- Four Key Principles of the US Constitution
- Understanding the Constitution: Three Branches of Government
- What Does the President Do?
- Amending the Constitution: Why Change?
- The Bill of Rights
- Exploring the Bill of Rights for the 21st Century
- Fight for Your Right: A History of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment
- Researching the Amendments
- Voices of Activists: Amending the Constitution

As with all YLI lesson plans, the new offerings specific to the Constitution are differentiated for students at all learning levels. In addition to the free lesson plans, participating schools also receive a Bill of Rights poster and Constitution-themed academic planner.

The Youth Leadership Initiative is a program of the Center for Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based at the University of Virginia. YLI develops free K-12 civic education resources designed to encourage student interest and participation in the American political process.

The Center for Politics was founded by UVA professor Larry J. Sabato in 1998. The Center for Politics is an interdisciplinary, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the proposition that government works better when politics works better and its corollary that politics works better when citizens are informed and active participants. The Center for Politics and its programs are supported by federal, state and private funds. The Center for Politics promotes the value of politics and seeks to improve civic education and increase civic participation through comprehensive research, pragmatic analysis, and innovative educational programs.

        Read more about the Youth Leadership Iniative


UVA Center for Politics and NBC 12 to Host Televised Gubernatorial Candidate Debate

8/9/05 | The University of Virginia Center for Politics (CFP) and NBC 12 (WWBT-Richmond), will host a televised debate featuring candidates for governor of Virginia in October. Mr. Kaine and Mr. Kilgore have agreed to participate in a debate to be moderated by Larry J. Sabato, Director of the U.Va. Center for Politics. Following rules for candidate inclusion similar to those used by the Commission on Presidential Debates, Mr. Potts will be invited to participate in this debate if he demonstrates at least 15 percent support in public polls as outlined in rules proposed by the Center for Politics and NBC 12. The Center for Politics has used the 15 percent inclusion standard for Independent candidates in all of its previous debates for statewide office.

"The Center for Politics is excited to announce this opportunity for television viewers across the Commonwealth to learn more about the candidates and hear their views on the important issues of the day," said Sabato. "Politics works better when citizens are informed and active participants."

This 2005 gubernatorial debate will take place in the Richmond studios of NBC 12 and will be made available via satellite for live broadcast to all television stations regardless of network affiliation. It will be up to each station to decide whether to carry the debate; citizens are encouraged to contact their local station to urge that they carry the debate. While specific details will be negotiated in the near future, the format will be similar to that of the gubernatorial debate that the Center for Politics hosted in 2001.

The University of Virginia Center for Politics is a non-profit, non-partisan institute whose mission is to promote the value of politics and seeks to improve civics education and increase civic participation through comprehensive research, pragmatic analysis, and innovative educational programs


J. Sargeant Reynolds Conference Opens in Richmond

Free Event Examines Life and Legacy of Former Lieutenant Governor

7/22/05 | The J. Sargeant Reynolds Conference opens today in Richmond, part of the ongoing Virginia Political History Project. For eight consecutive years, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service have examined the lives, administrations and legacies of Virginia’s recent former governors and legislative leaders. In a continuing effort to preserve an oral history of modern Virginia politics, this conference will bring together friends, family, political professionals, legislators, and the public to remember the life and political career of former Lt. Governor J. Sergeant Reynolds of Richmond, whose untimely death in 1971 altered the political landscape of Virginia, and perhaps the nation.

Central to the mission of the Center for Politics is the pursuit to renew civic interest and participation in the electoral process, particularly among our nation's youth. Thus, it is fitting that this year we turn our focus to J. Sargeant Reynolds whose legacy is largely defined by his commitment to engage Virginia's young people in the political process. This conference will bring together friends, family, political professionals, legislators, and the public in a continuing effort to preserve an oral history of modern Virginia politics.

As with all conferences in the Center for Politics' Virginia Political History Project, this event is free and open to the public, although registration is required.

        Learn more about the conference


New Book Divided States of America Examines 2004 Election

Comprehensive Volume Provides Valuable Insight for Future Elections

Divided States of America: The Slash and Burn Politics of the 2004 Presidential Election
Larry J. Sabato
(Longman, June 2005)

A follow-up to his best-selling Get in the Booth! A Citizen's Guide to the 2004 Election, this new book looks back at the 2004 campaigns and election and offers fresh analyses and trenchant commentary by Larry J. Sabato and a team of top election scholars and journalists. An invaluable resource for anyone already looking ahead to the elections of 2006 and 2008, Divided States of America breaks down the 2004 races and provides a jumping off point for future contests.

The latest publication from Larry J. Sabato and the University of Virginia Center for Politics offers exciting commentaries and analyses on the divisive 2004 election from the scholars and journalists who were closest to it. From the rise and fall of Howard Dean to the "Bush Mandate," and from the impact of campaign finance laws to the role of religion, this book offers insights on an array of the most significant events and issues that dominated the most intense and important election in recent memory.

"Want to know why Bush won and Kerry lost in 2004? Then read Larry Sabato's book. It's the best analysis of that bitter election in print."
      --Bill O'Reilly, Anchor - Fox News Channel

"At Little Bighorn, General Custer was heard to say, 'Where did all those Indians come from?' On Election Night 2004 I asked, 'Where did all those Republicans come from?' Larry Sabato has collected some of the smartest observers of the scene to give us the answer. This book tells us the what, why, where and how of one of the most consequential elections of our time."
      --Paul Begala, Political Analyst - CNN

        Pre-order this book from!

        Read more about this and other Center for Politics books


Center Partners with Smithsonian for Politics Lecture Series

Four Sessions to be Held in Washington D.C. in April and May

4/28/05 | Beginning on April 28, the Center for Politics begins a lecture series in conjunction with the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program, entitled How to Close the Red/Blue Divide in U.S. Politics. Conducted in four installments, each featuring a different guest speaker, the program explores pressing modern political questions, including: are we at a crossroads in American politics? Has polarization paralyzed our country? Will the Red State/Blue State divide continue to define American elections?

Professor Larry J. Sabato and colleagues of the Center for Politics explore the historical significance of a divided nation, following the closely contested presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. They also examine cultural and institutional policies in American politics that may be widening the electoral divide, along with the role that can be played by civic education in building a stronger America.

     More about this program from the Smithsonian site


Center to Host Middle East Expert R.K. Ramazani

Acclaimed Scholar to Discuss Jeffersonian Ideals in the Mid East

3/30/05 | The Center for Politics is pleased to welcome Middle East author, scholar and Professor Emeritus of Politics R. K. RAMAZANI to the grounds of the University of Virginia, for a lecture entitled "JEFFERSONIAN IDEALS AND MIDDLE EASTERN REALITIES." This event will take place at 7:00pm in the Dome Room of the Rotunda on Monday, April 4, 2005. The event is free and open to the public.

As a former consultant to the White House, State Department and United Nations, Ramazani's extensive background in Middle Eastern affairs gives him a unique insight into timely issues like terrorism, the rise of democracy, foreign relations and human rights.

R. K. Ramazani is the Edward R. Stettinius Professor Emeritus of Politics at the U. Va., where he has been since 1952. A former Vice President of the American Institute of Iranian Studies and an Emeritus Member of the Middle East Institute's Board of Governors, Ramazani has received many awards, including the Fulbright Award, the Social Science Research Council Award, the Thomas Jefferson Award and the American Association of Middle Eastern Studies Award.

Ramazani has authored over a dozen books on Middle Eastern issues; his latest work is THE FUTURE OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY: THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD. He has published 148 articles and book chapters, and his op-eds have appeared in numerous newspapers across the country. Generally recognized as "the Dean of Iranian Foreign Policy Studies in the United States," Ramazani is a regular on the international speaking circuit and has lectured in over 30 cities abroad.

The event is free and open to the public; members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Matt Smyth ( or 434-243-8466) to reserve space.


"Wilder: An American First" to Premier on Feb. 15 at 9PM

2/8/05 | In January of 1990, Lawrence Douglas Wilder, the grandson of slaves, stood poised to become America's first elected African American governor. That he was the first made this an historic victory. That it happened in Virginia--home of the capital of the Confederacy--made it truly remarkable.

The Community Idea Stations tell the fascinating story of this skilled legislator, lawyer and politician, and his tempestuous rise to national recognition in a new documentary, WILDER: An American First, premiering on WCVE Richmond PBS and WHTJ Charlottesville PBS Tuesday, February 15 at 9 pm. The program will repeat that night at 11:30 pm.


Professor Larry J. Sabato Pledges $1 Million to University
Encourages All Alumni to Participate in Capital Campaign;
Fulfills 1974 Promise to Former UVA President Edgar Shannon

2/4/05 | From the Dome Room of the Rotunda, University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III announced today that politics professor Larry J. Sabato is giving the University a donation of $1 million in support of the University's effort to "become a national leader in youth and adult civic education and participation." Sabato's gift, the largest ever given by an active faculty member to UVa, fulfills a promise he made thirty years ago to former UVa President Edgar F. Shannon, Jr., who served as president of the University from 1959 to 1974.

"From his time as an undergraduate activist in the College during the 1970s to his years as a distinguished University professor, Larry Sabato has enriched the University," Casteen said. "In his teaching, research and public service, Larry has built the University's intellectual capital.

"With his financial gift, a great personal sacrifice, Larry has demonstrated an abiding devotion to the University, a devotion well known to all who know him. True to form, Larry's gift is eloquent in what it signifies. It speaks of his love of the University, his belief in the power of knowledge and his hopes for the future of humankind. In this latest act of generosity, Larry offers us all an example many of us aspire to follow."

"For over 35 years I have had the incomparable privilege to be associated with Thomas Jefferson's proudest legacy," said Sabato. "It is time to repay my beloved University - the best public University in the country - for giving me so many wonderful opportunities over the years. No one succeeds without a lot of help, and UVa has always been there for me."

Joined at the announcement by Bess, Eleanor, Susan, and Virginia Shannon, daughters of former UVa President Shannon and Mrs. Eleanor Shannon, Sabato said that his donation fulfills a promise he made to then-UVa President Shannon in 1974. It was Mr. Shannon who encouraged Sabato to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship - which he ultimately won - launching his academic career. Sabato also served as UVa Student Council President during Shannon's last year as University President, and the two formed a life-long friendship.

"How lucky I was to have had such a humane and brilliant mentor," Sabato said. "Inspired by his example, I first promised him some thirty years ago that I would try to make a substantial gift to the University, should life give me the opportunity. I'm delighted to fulfill that promise.

"There's a clear lesson here, both for today's students and also for faculty and administrators," continued Sabato. "Students need to remember later in life how fortunate they have been to have 'worn the honors of honor', and faculty and administrators would be well advised to recall and imitate the shining example of Edgar Shannon in their relationships with our students."

Sabato is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and the son of working-class parents who lived through the Great Depression. His father, N.J. Sabato, fought in Europe during World War II, and believed strongly in the importance of civic participation. Larry Sabato is Director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics - which he founded in 1998 - and the Robert K. Gooch Professor, and University Professor of Politics. He was an undergraduate student at the University from 1970-1974 as part of its first fully coeducational first-year class, and he was active in a wide variety of political and service groups. Sabato lived on the Lawn his fourth undergraduate year and now resides on the Lawn again in Pavilion IV. Sabato studied at Princeton University in 1974-1975. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University, where he received his doctorate in 1977. After teaching at Oxford for a year, he joined the faculty at the University in 1978. Sabato is the author of 23 books about politics, including The Rise of Political Consultants; Feeding Frenzy; and the forthcoming Armageddon: The Bush-Kerry Contest. Sabato has won all of UVa's significant teaching honors (the Outstanding Young Professor Award; the Distinguished Professor Award; and the State Council for Higher Education's Outstanding Professor Award), and in 2001 he received the University of Virginia's highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award, given to one person each year since the 1950s for best representing "the ideals and objectives of Mr. Jefferson."

"If a teacher can save and donate a large gift, thousands of other University alumni can do the same, whether in life or by means of an estate bequest," said Sabato. "Every University alumnus has favorite causes. The capital campaign gives each of us the opportunity to create a legacy somewhere within this wonderfully diverse University. President Casteen seeks to raise over $3 billion to take the University to the next level. It is vital that all of us who love the University step up to the plate."

Sabato designated his gift to be used as support for the University's effort to "become a national leader in youth and adult civic education" by strengthening the UVa Center for Politics and providing it a permanent home at a restored Birdwood Pavilion. Today more than one million students and over 14,000 primary and secondary school teachers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories and Department of Defense Schools abroad participate in the Center for Politics' signature civic education program, the national Youth Leadership Initiative.

As part of the gift agreement, the University will restore the historic Birdwood estate, located off U.S. 250 just west of Charlottesville, adjacent to the University's Birdwood golf course. Built for William Garth in 1819 by many of the same craftsmen who constructed Jefferson's academical village, the University purchased Birdwood in 1974 from the estate of its last private owner, Cornelius Middleton. The structure has not been occupied since 1996.

Sabato noted that the renovated estate will also serve as classroom and meeting space for University students and faculty, and thus will represent "a major, new extension of Mr. Jefferson's academical village for the enjoyment and education of all."


Political Cartoonists Set to Showcase the Best of the 2004 Election
Center hosts "Win, Lose, or Draw" on Jan. 25 at 7pm

1/19/05 | The Center for Politics has finalized details to host four of the media's preeminent political cartoonists in the UVA Special Collections Library on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 7pm. The event, titled "Win, Lose, or Draw: Political Cartoons and the 2004 Election" features Pulitzer Prize winner Ann Telnaes, AOL/Time Warner's Bob Gorrell, the Baltimore Sun's Kevin "Kal" Kallaugher, and the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star's own Clay Jones.

"With the election well behind us, there's no better time to look at the role of political humor--especially political cartoons--in our nation's electoral process," said Molly Clancy, deputy director for programs and the event's organizer.

Following the successes of previous events designed to engage students, faculty and local citizens alike, "Win, Lose, or Draw" will not only serve as an academic analysis of the relationship between the media and the candidates they choose to lampoon, but it will also offer an opportunity to interact with the panel members. "This event is primarily a dialogue with political cartoonists and will explore another side of reporting and commenting on the news," added Clancy.

In addition to discussing the role of a political cartoonist, panelists will display samples of their work from the past year.

For more information, please contact Molly Clancy at or (434) 243-8472.

View the 2004 news archives

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