About the Parents Fund Committee

In 1980 a group of non-alumni parents, recognizing the University of Virginia’s need for expanded external support, formed the Parents Program of the University of Virginia Fund. The program now includes alumni and non-alumni parents and has been renamed the UVA Parents Fund Committee. These parents share an interest in maintaining the high quality of academics and non-academic programs that attract their sons and daughters to the University. This volunteer group of parents receives and coordinates gifts from parents who share a commitment to sustaining UVA’s undergraduate experience through fundraising activities, grants, and thoughtful input.

The Parents Fund Committee has provided funding for more than 1,500 student-led groups, programs and organizations as well as University programs that directly benefit student life. Some of these include:

  • Second-Year Dinner Series
  • Global Student Council
  • President’s Dinner
  • Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development
  • Non-sport student activities, including the Sustained Dialogue Initiative
  • PRIDE Magazine and the Human Rights Film Festival
  • Community service programs, including Madison House, Alternative Spring Break, and Pancakes for Parkinson’s
  • Leadership initiatives, including orientation leadership training, L2K8, and L2K9
  • Sports activities, including Women’s Club Lacrosse, Women’s Club Soccer, Men’s Water Polo, and Virginia Water
  • Sports Teams (All teams are non-varsity and rely on private funding to compete.)

Grants ranged from $125 to $150,000 over a three-year period to initiate the First-Year Faculty Advisory Program, now known as COLA classes.

History of Success

For over 30 years, the UVA Parents Fund Committee has served the University and helped to enrich the experience of its students through fundraising activities, grants and input.

In 2008-09, the majority of the funds were apportioned to the student experience, safety and health, career preparation and parent communication and engagement.  This includes faculty-student interaction activities such as the Second-Year Dinner Series, Major Meals and the President’s Dinner, non-sport student activities such as Sustained Dialogue, PRIDE Magazine and the FilmMakers Society, community service programs such as Madison House, Alternative Spring Break and Pancakes for Parkinson’s, leadership initiatives, including orientation leadership training, L2K8 and L2K9 and student sport activities, including Women’s Club Lacrosse, Women’s Club Soccer, Men’s Water Polo, and Virginia Water Sports Team. All teams are non-varsity and rely on private funding to compete.

The Safety Task Force was created in October 2006, to evaluate how parents could directly contribute to a safer community. The task force consisted of University staff, local law enforcement, parents and students who met regularly to discuss safety concerns and proactive ways of promoting safety. Funds from the task force were used:

  • To collaborate with Student Council to create the emergency text message system
  • To provide emergency flat screens in the libraries
  • To provide an emergency flat screen in the Office of Admission
  • To assist in procuring the Global Positioning System for the University bus system
  • To support the Siren/Public Address System across Grounds
  • To develop public service announcements