Tag Archives: University of Virginia

Former Lt. Gov. John Hager Honored by Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership

Photo courtesy of Del. Richard Anderson.

Former Lieutenant Governor John Hager. Photo courtesy of UVa Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

The University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership dedicated its Spring Gala earlier this month to honoring former Lieutenant Governor John Hager for his services to Sorensen and to the Commonwealth. The Gala, an annual fundraiser dinner held in Richmond that brought in Sorensen alumni and friends, also included a silent auction and a jazz band.

John Hager, who has worked closely with Sorensen and is the immediate past Chairman of the Sorensen Institute Statewide Advisory Board, is a pillar in the ranks of Virginia Republicans and a supporter of the party for decades who served as Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth from 1998-2002 during Governor Jim Gilmore’s administration.  Throughout the years, John Hager was Director of Homeland Security for Virginia, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, and served on numerous other boards and organizations. He also served as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services from 2004-07, nominated by President George W. Bush in the years before Hager’s son, Henry, met and married the president’s daughter, Jenna, in 2008.

During the program that included remarks from notable leaders, the Lieutenant Governor was presented with an award that was inscribed with the Sorensen Institute logo and the following words:

John H. Hager

In recognition

of extraordinary service to the

Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership

and to the Commonwealth of Virginia

April 3, 2017

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Civil Rights leader Rep. John Lewis speaks at Monticello, receives Jefferson Medal

By Lynn R. Mitchell
Originally published April 13, 2015

??????????Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) was keynote speaker at Monticello’s commemoration of Thomas Jefferson’s 272nd birthday. (Video of birthday ceremony including the congressman’s remarks here.)

Lewis received the 2015 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership that recognizes contributions in architecture, law, and citizen leadership, qualities that Mr. Jefferson held in high esteem. As a young man 50 years ago, Mr. Lewis was a civil rights activist with 600 other activists who took part in the Selma-to-Montgomery march that was recently commemorated in Selma with President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, both of whom he mentioned in his remarks.

From UVa President Teresa Sullivan: “The University of Virginia is proud to celebrate these leaders, who truly embody the ideals and spirit of Thomas Jefferson. These recipients not only exemplify premier talent in their fields, but also, like Jefferson, they provide essential leadership for our world in the areas of architecture, law and citizen leadership.”

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UVa marching band will perform in Macy’s 2015 Thanksgiving Parade

University of Va. 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

Tune in this morning at 9:00 to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from New York City and catch the performance of the University of Virginia’s marching band.

NBC-29’s Matt Talhelm reported Wednesday on the band’s appearance in the parade (see Cavalier Marching Band set to perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade):

More than a year and a half of work has gone into preparing the travel logistics and music for this one performance. Amid a chorus of competing warm ups, drum major Anna Smith’s voice amplifies above the musical notes.

“Our primary job is just to make sure everything is running smoothly, checking out the different sections, just making sure everyone knows what’s going on,” said Smith.

Smith is distributing the map of movements, for one of the Cavalier Marching Band’s biggest performances.Cramming 320 members into even the biggest of New York City’s blocks isn’t easy.

Talhelm ended by noting what time the band should be on the television screen:

You can watch the entire parade on NBC29 starting at 9 a.m. Thursday, the band is expected to perform at approximately 10:17 a.m.

We will be watching for SWAC Niece’s roommate from last year. Look for the smiling, peppy trumpet player and that will be Hailey. Go, Hoos!

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Eric Cantor talks 2016 to packed UVa Hall

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Eric Cantor, January 2015 (photo by Lynn R. Mitchell)

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Eric Cantor still has it.

Garrett Hall was tightly packed Friday as former House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor discussed the upcoming presidential election with students from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia.

Sitting in an informal armchair on a small stage, Cantor …  spoke about the presidential election and economic growth strategies, while addressing several questions from students.

He still has that capacity to draw a crowd.

Last January I had the opportunity to listen to Congressman Cantor in a similar informal setting as he relaxed in front of a crowd (see Virginia Republicans look to the future), displaying his depth of understanding the complex and difficult issues that face our country.

This time he was discussing 2016.

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Cool September day in Shenandoah Valley, Charlottesville

UVa 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s an overcast, cool mid-September day in the Shenandoah Valley — perfect for college football throughout America. While SWAC Niece, a second-year Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, is at that game along with her parents and friends (game time was 3:30pm EDT; at half-time Virginia is leading Notre Dame, 14-12), two other games were on the horizon today.

Earlier SWAC Son-in-Law’s alma mater Florida State won their home game over South Florida, and Texas niece who is third year at the University of Michigan saw her Wolverines win over Oregon. So far, so good. Now we just have to get a win for UVa.

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Civil Rights leader Rep. John Lewis speaks at Monticello, receives Jefferson Medal

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) was keynote speaker at Monticello’s commemoration of Thomas Jefferson’s 272nd birthday. (Video of birthday ceremony including the congressman’s remarks here.)

Lewis received the 2015 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership that recognizes contributions in architecture, law, and citizen leadership, qualities that Mr. Jefferson held in high esteem. As a young man 50 years ago, Mr. Lewis was a civil rights activist with 600 other activists who took part in the Selma-to-Montgomery march that was recently commemorated in Selma with President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, both of whom he mentioned in his remarks.

From UVa President Teresa Sullivan: “The University of Virginia is proud to celebrate these leaders, who truly embody the ideals and spirit of Thomas Jefferson. These recipients not only exemplify premier talent in their fields, but also, like Jefferson, they provide essential leadership for our world in the areas of architecture, law and citizen leadership.”

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Bernie Goldberg: ‘What the media left out of the phony Rolling Stone story’

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Journalist Bernie Goldberg asks some pertinent questions about the Rolling Stone rape story directed at the University of Virginia (see What the media left out of the phony Rolling Stone story). This is the story that Rolling Stone has just shrugged off even after the damning report from Columbia School of Journalism that revealed just about every rule in journalism was broken in the pursuit of a sensationalistic story concerning UVa:

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If McDonnell’s request to privatize booze had passed, would we be having ABC enforcement headlines?

ABC logoBy Lynn R. Mitchell

In 2010 I wrote “The case for ABC privatization: Why is Virginia in the booze business?” that talked about Governor Bob McDonnell’s belief that government should not be in the business of selling alcohol but should, instead, concentrate on the core functions of government.

My question: If the General Assembly had rid Virginia of the ABC albatross, would we be having the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) officers making headlines like the one last week in Charlottesville with a UVa student Martese Johnson who ended up with 10 stitches in his head? And the incident that occurred two years ago with UVa student Elizabeth Daly who was wrongly arrested for buying sparkling water that was mistaken for beer by ABC officers?

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Flashback: Charlottesville ABC agents should be reminded of the Alicia Showalter Reynolds tragedy

Elizabeth Daly

Elizabeth Daly

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[Editor’s note: With the latest incident involving a UVa student and Virginia ABC agents that occurred earlier this week (see Students Speak Out on ABC Arrest of UVa Student), it seemed a good time to rerun this post from 2013 when ABC agents made news with another UVa student.]

I had no intention of writing about the Charlottesville ABC agents who apprehended a UVa student in the false belief she was underage with beer. Her “beer” turned out to be sparkling water but a series of events led to her arrest and she was thrown in the slammer overnight. ABC agents thought their lives were in danger, and the young lady thought her life was in danger, and it ended up in a big mess.

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Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball ranks GOP, Dem 2016 presidential contenders

Larry Sabato's Crystal BallBy Lynn R. Mitchell

If it’s Thursday, it’s time for Sabato’s Crystal Ball and time for this political junkie to get a needed fix.

The University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato’s weekly report is out and, in the list of Republican 2016 presidential contenders, Jeb Bush still tops the Top Tier. In this issue, Dr. Sabato also covers the Democratic presidential field.

Sabato’s “First Tier: The Leading Contenders” consists of Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio. All have proven leadership and solid conservative credentials but history has shown voters usually go for candidates who have been governors which bodes well for Bush and Walker. Not as much so for U.S. senators which is something that could affect Rubio, not to mention that his presence in the Senate is badly needed at this time.

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Jeb Bush picks University of Virginia to win NCAA championship

Jeb Bush NCAA brackets 2015

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Governor Jeb Bush has filled out his NCAA brackets and picked the University of Virginia to win it all. That’s right … Jeb predicts UVa will win the Final Four when all is said and done (see his Facebook post here).

That, according to the New York Times’ Nick Corasaniti (see Jeb Bush’s Pick to Win It All, and It’s Not Kentucky) who tweeted out the news on Tuesday.

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First degree murder charges filed against Jesse Matthew in Hannah Graham case

Hannah Graham UVa missing girl 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

Jesse Matthew was officially charged today with first degree murder of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham (see Charlottesville man charged in Hannah Graham’s killing).

For many, it’s a sigh of relief. For police, it caps months of tedious investigation. For the community, it is hoped a monster has been stopped. For Hannah’s parents, whose hearts will forever hold their missing child, perhaps this will provide a tiny bit of closure. Emphasis on tiny.

Back story links:
UVa student Hannah Graham missing
Albemarle law enforcement statement on Hannah Graham investigation
Jesse Matthew arrested in Galveston, TX
Coy Barefoot and the site where Hannah was found
Parents remember Hannah, thank all who helped search, ask for privacy to grieve their loss

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Kasha Nielsen and Empower CRFV team sweep 2015-16 officer roles

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Kasha Nielsen

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Meet the new Executive Board of Officers for the College Republican Federation of Virginia 2015-16:

Chairman: Kasha Nielsen (University of Virginia)

1st Vice Chairman: Devon Flynn (George Mason)

 

2nd Vice Chairman: Jake Lee (James Madison University)

Secretary: Nathan Ritchie (College of William and Mary)

Treasurer: Kim Gibbons (Va Tech)

Led by UVa junior Kasha Nielsen who won with a vote of 99-17, the entire CRFV team swept the election during their annual convention this weekend on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. After months of hard work along with outgoing CR Chair Liz Minneman (UVa Class of 2014) and crisscrossing the Commonwealth visiting college campuses, they earned the endorsements of most CR chairs as well as YRs, activists, and elected officials.

The team campaigned under the banner “Empower CRFV” with a positive message from these young leaders who are the future of the Republican Party. With a pragmatic vision for strengthening the GOP, a plan of inclusiveness, and a desire to work hard to elect Republican candidates, they are shining examples of what hard work and perseverance can do to build the party.

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Larry Sabato’s revised 2016 presidential field … Jeb moves to top

Larry Sabato's Crystal BallBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato has come out with the latest Crystal Ball analysis of the 2016 presidential lineup for Republicans and, not surprisingly, it centers mostly around the only candidate to (almost) announce so far, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (who, technically, is surveying the landscape — political code for “he’s running”).

Sabato, long-time director of the U.Va. Center for Politics, noted the turtle mix-up that occurred over the holidays with Jeb Bush’s announcement which shot him to the top of the list, although he did not have far to go because he had been near the top of the list for a while.

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The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 2 … Monticello $5 admission, ‘White Christmas,’ Shakespeare, Nutcracker

Monticello at ChristmasBy Lynn R. Mitchell

1) Monticello at Christmas

Experience the Colonial Virginia celebration of the holiday season at the home of Thomas Jefferson, open today from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with 1987 admission prices of $5.00. That’s a big savings over the usual $18 for adults and $8 for children. Children younger than 6 are free.

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