Virginia, University of, mainly at Charlottesville; state supported; coeducational; chartered 1819, opened 1825 with Thomas Jefferson as its rector. Jefferson also planned the organization and curriculum and designed its first buildings. A leading Southern university, it was the first U.S. university to use the elective system. The university is known for its law school and for its library, which contains collections in American literature and international law. It also operates a branch college at Wise. Its colonnaded buildings and rectangular "Lawn" are part of the spacious campus. Mary Washington College was consolidated with the Univ. of Virginia from 1944 to 1972.
See G. Wills, Mr. Jefferson's University (2002).