Jefferson Book Awards

Eton College Jefferson Book Award presented by UVA Professor Andrew O’Shaughnessy

The Jefferson Book Award was established to recognize outstanding high school juniors or students in the next-to-graduating class who embrace creativity and innovation, and embody the spirit of discovery, much like the University’s founder, Thomas Jefferson. The student is a demonstrated citizen leader who works to improve their community locally or globally.

Sponsoring an award at a local school is an important Admissions outreach for UVA Clubs and attracts the attention of talented young students to the opportunities at the University of Virginia. The University is an exciting place where students with a wide range of interests will be challenged and supported in a diverse curriculum.

Jefferson Book Award, Jamestown High School

The award book is Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in 100 Objects and is gifted on behalf of the local UVA Club.  Along with the book, a personalized certificate signed by President James E. Ryan and a personalized bookplate are included with the award.  The Jefferson Book Award is presented to the recipient by a local UVA Club volunteer or the school’s staff, typically at the end of the academic year.

To sponsor a Jefferson Book Award a UVA Club, interested group, or individual need only contribute the cost of the book.  Each UVA Club determines the number of awards it will sponsor and contacts local high school guidance counselors to introduce the program and coordinate presentation.  It is at the discretion of the secondary school to determine the recipient of the Jefferson Book Award each year.

Informational Flyer


UVA Club Cavalier Admission Volunteers: 6 weeks prior to ceremony

  • Contact local schools to introduce the program, offer sponsorship and coordinate award presentation.
  • Complete the Registration Form online for each school
  • UVA Clubs are responsible for supplying a copy of  Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in 100 Objects for each award they sponsor*.   Many Clubs have individuals who each sponsor one or more book awards on behalf of the Club.
  • Individuals may also sponsor a Jefferson Book Award at a school and donate the cost of the book and shipping by completing the donation page here or found in the registration form.
  •  A personalized bookplate and certificate will be mailed from UVA Clubs and global Engagement Office to listed contact on the Registration Form approximately 4 weeks ahead of ceremony.

Submit a Jefferson Book Award Here


Secondary schools interested in participating in Jefferson Book Award Program

  • If you have not been contacted by a UVA Club volunteer in your area, find a Club here:    UVA Clubs
  • Individuals may also sponsor a Jefferson Book Award and donate the cost of the book by completing the donation page found on the registration form.
  • For public schools in need of financial assistance, please contact us.

Submit a Jefferson Book Award Here


For more information about the Jefferson Book Award program, contact program coordinators Dahlia Nelson or Sherry Dunaway at

Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in 100 Objects can be purchased from the UVA Bookstore or Amazon.  The *UVA Bookstore offers a discount.  Please note on the registration form how the book will be received by the school.

*In order to get the special pricing for UVA Clubs buying the award books, the purchaser needs to type “UVA Alumni Club award book” in the “special instructions box” at the bottom of the checkout window. The discount will not show on the initial checkout. It will be done manually here in the bookstore and the receipt will show the proper amount. 1-9 Copies $22.50 each, 10+ copies $21.00 each. Note: this is not a coupon code. You may also call the UVA Bookstore at 434-924-3721 and talk with Roy Cadoff for more information on ordering books.