UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
State Marker I-3 University Avenue
in front of Rotunda
Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. The cornerstone of its first building was laid on October 6, 1817, in the presence of three presidents of the United States--Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. In 1825, the university admitted its first scholars, who were educated in what Jefferson called "useful sciences." Following Jefferson's beliefs, the university was nonsectarian and allowed its students to choose their own courses of study. The honor system was established in 1842. In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named the original grounds, Thomas Jefferson's "academical village," to its prestigious World Heritage List.