The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia, founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. It is the flagship university of Virginia and home to the Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UVA is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies.
The original governing Board of Visitors included Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. Monroe was the sitting President of the United States at the time of its foundation, and earlier presidents Jefferson and Madison were UVA's first two rectors. Jefferson conceived and designed the original courses of study and original architecture. UVA has been a member of the research-driven Association of American Universities for 117 years, and the journal Science recently credited its faculty with two of the top ten global scientific breakthroughs in a single year.
The University of Virginia has graduated 55 Rhodes Scholars, eighth-most in the United States, and its alumni have founded many companies which together produce more than $1.6 trillion in annual revenue and have created 2.3 million jobs. UVA offers 121 majors across the eight undergraduate and three professional schools. The university sits on a historic 1,135-acre central campus partially protected by UNESCO. It additionally maintains 562 acres north of the campus at North Fork and 2,913 acres southeast of the city at Morven Farm. Moreover, it manages the College at Wise, in Southwest Virginia, and managed George Mason University and the University of Mary Washington, both in Northern Virginia, until the two universities gained institutional independence in 1972.