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University of Virginia

The University of Virginia is a public institution located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It is one of the eight original Public Ivy universities. The university was conceived and founded by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson in 1819. The school's original Board included three former Presidents of the United States: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. The school is sometimes referred to among insiders as Mr. Jefferson's University. The school has a total undergraduate enrollment of 15,850. It has a 1,682 acre urban campus and uses a semester-based academic calendar. UVA's university campus is only one in the United States that is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The University of Virginia does not offer honorary degrees and all degrees must be earned academically. The school's graduate programs include the highly ranked Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, School of Engineering, Applied Science, School of Law, School of Medicine and Curry School of Education. One of the 25 original copies of the Declaration of Independence, called a Dunlap Broadside, are housed in the school's Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. Noted alumni include, former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, former U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, journalist Katie Couric, and former NFL player Tiki Barber. Famous writer Edgar Allen Poe was forced to leave the school after losing his tuition money to gambling, but his dorm room on the lawn is still preserved and on display for visitors.

The school's sports teams, the Cavaliers, compete in the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference and are well known for their consistently dominant men's and women's lacrosse teams. Most of the university's housing serves first year students and only first-year students are required to live on campus, and many upperclassmen live in off-campus apartments or fraternity and sorority houses. Approximately 30 percent of the student body are members of its Greek groups.

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