Helen E. Dragas

Historic Appointment

For the first time, the Board of Visitors has elected a female vice rector. Helen E. Dragas (Col ’84, GSBA ’88) will succeed current rector John O. Wynne on July 1, 2011. Dragas, chief executive officer of The Dragas Companies, a Virginia Beach-based mortgage and construction firm, currently chairs the BOV’s Finance Committee.

White House Welcome

The UVA women’s rowing and men’s soccer teams visited the White House on Sept. 13 for a reception honoring student-athletes and coaches who won NCAA titles in the 2009-2010 season. President Barack Obama welcomed more than 30 NCAA title-holding teams to the White House’s South Lawn.

Lasting Tribute

In October, University officials and family members of the late Morgan Harrington placed a permanent plaque at the site where the Virginia Tech student was last seen after a concert at John Paul Jones Arena.

The marker on the Copeley Road bridge replaced a collection of mementos placed there in the wake of Harrington’s disappearance in October 2009.

Sign of the Times

About 3,850 telephones were removed from University residence halls over the summer—an acknowledgment that today’s students rely almost entirely on cellular telephones. Students can still request land lines in their rooms, but the University expects to save approximately $500,000 with the change.

Highly Ranked

The University of Virginia retained its No. 2 rank among public universities (tied with UCLA, behind the University of California, Berkeley) in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings. UVA placed No. 25 overall. The Darden School of Business and the School of Law were ranked among the best by the Princeton Review, earning No. 1 rankings for best professors and quality of life for students, respectively.

Top Honor

The University of Virginia Magazine e-newsletter received the national top prize in the 2010 Circle of Excellence competition sponsored by CASE.

The e-newsletter, distributed via e-mail eight times a year as a companion to the quarterly print magazine, was praised by judges as being “head and shoulders above the others” in the Web-based periodicals category.

“The layout was simple yet elegant, with excellent use of white space, typography and images,” judges said. “The editorial content is consistently interesting and well written.”

In awarding the Grand Gold Award, judges also cited the video content of the publication and singled out a segment on UVA’s first black students.