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A Letter from the Executive Director

Executive Director's headshot

There’s no other right way to begin this letter than with, “thank you.” We have so much to be thankful for. Thanks to you, k-12 school professionals, who have navigated another difficult year – teachers, of course, but also counselors, administrators, specialists, school psychologists, coaches, and athletic trainers. We are so appreciative of what you are doing to support our kids.

The great thing about working with the UVA School of Education and Human Development is that the list of alumni and supporters serving families and communities goes on and on. Thank you to our alumni who are in the caring professions, helping get us through the emotional challenges of these times. To the alumni of our Kinesiology programs who are helping us stay more fit and healthy. And to our alumni working in higher education, teaching young adults, conducting important research, and leading through a succession of tough decisions.

Many more of you are working outside of your EHD area of study. But we know you are volunteering and serving and leading and taking the spirit of what you learned here into every aspect of your life. Thank you.

For those of you who are not our alumni – the folks who support us because you believe in great education, flourishing human development, and transformative research, thank you! You obviously have the best interest of your community and our country at heart.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us so generously over the past year. We received a transformative gift to our Kinesiology Department this year, which you can read about in this report. Seven more people established estate plans with bequests to the School totaling more than $2 million. One of those was Vicky L. Triponey; you can read about her visionary plans here, as well. Two donors funded new endowed chairs for a total of $10 million. Generous donors have also helped fund the Hope Autism Summit for 2022, as well as various youth mentoring and research projects through YouthNex: The UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development.

We, of course, are appreciative of how the School has flourished under Dean Bob Pianta for the past 15 years. He is ready to step down as dean at the end of this academic year, but his legacy will go on. Be sure and read more about his leadership and achievements in this report.  

Last of all, we are grateful for the many opportunities to support great education and research that remain ahead of us. This year we were able to distribute over $750K in student scholarships and awards – our largest total ever – helping 150 students with their education here. Yet, student need remains high. Scholarship support allows them focus on their programs without having to work outside jobs or accrue crippling student debt. You can read in this annual report about two new scholarships established over the past year. Even if you don’t have the means to establish a new fund, your gifts can strengthen any of our existing scholarships.

As you read through this annual report, I hope you feel our gratitude in every line. We couldn’t do this this without you!

With much gratitude,

Mike Cashman

T. Michael Cashman