Chris Marston: Happy Birthday, Mr. Jefferson

As a University of Virginia alum I have a soft spot for Thomas Jefferson. All right, that’s probably an understatement. Most of us who went to The University pretty much revere the man who founded the school. Creating the University and its Academical Villiage was one of Jefferson’s greatest accomplishments.

Here’s what he had engraved on his grave marker:

“Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and Father of the University of Virginia.” (You’ll notice that he omitted his two-term presidency as one of his key accomplishments.)

At his heart, Jefferson was a scholar, a lifelong learner. He was a Renaissance man who was passionate about farming, architecture, applied science and math. His personal library formed the nucleus of the Library of Congress’s collection. And he designed his university so that professors lived alongside students providing endless opportunities for interaction and discussion outside of the classroom.

We celebrate Jefferson’s birthday on April 13th.  It would have been his 269th birthday.

Chris Marston is the editor of www.LurayPageFreePress.com.


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