University of Virginia (UVA)
The University of Virginia (U.Va. or UVA) is a public-private flagship and research university. Founded in 1819 by Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson, UVA is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies.
UNESCO designated UVA as America's first and only collegiate World Heritage Site in 1987, an honor shared with nearby Monticello. The university was established in 1819, and its original governing Board of Visitors included Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. Monroe was the sitting President of the United States at the time of its foundation. Former Presidents Jefferson and Madison were UVA's first two rectors and the Academical Village and original courses of study were conceived and designed by Jefferson.
The university's research endeavors are highly recognized. In 2015, Science honored UVA faculty for discovering two of its top 10 annual scientific breakthroughs; from the fields of Medicine and Psychology. UVA is one of 62 institutions in the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization of preeminent North American research universities. It is the only AAU member university located in Virginia. UVA is classified as a Research University with Very High Research by the Carnegie Foundation, and is considered Virginia's flagship university by the College Board. The university was the first non-founding member, and the first university of the American South, to attain AAU membership in 1904. UVA has been referred to as a "Public Ivy" by various sources. Companies founded by UVA students and alumni, such as Reddit, generate more than $1.6 trillion in annual revenue – equivalent to an economy the size of Canada, 10th-largest in the world.