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Jefferson Book Awards

Award submissions must by received by close of business on Friday, May 24.

The Jefferson Book Award was established to recognize outstanding high school juniors or students in the next-to-graduating class who embrace creativity and innovation and embody the spirit of discovery, much like the University’s founder, Thomas Jefferson. This student is a demonstrated citizen leader who works to improve their community locally or globally.

The Jefferson Book Award is presented to the recipient by a local UVA Club volunteer or the school’s staff, typically at the end of the academic year.

Students who receive a Jefferson Book Award will get:

  • Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in 100 Objects, gifted on behalf of the local UVA Club
  • A customizable certificate signed by University of Virginia President, James E. Ryan
  • A customizable bookplate

To sponsor a Jefferson Book Award, a UVA Club, interested group, or individual need only contribute the cost of the book. Each UVA Club determines the number of awards it will sponsor and contacts local high school guidance counselors to introduce the program and coordinate presentations. It is at the discretion of the high school to determine the recipient of the Jefferson Book Award each year. You can download the Jefferson Book Award overview to share with your contacts.

Submit a Jefferson Book Award

Note: Submitting a Jefferson Book Award request does not guarantee a book will be sent with your registration. There are several ways to obtain the book, which is noted on the registration form. Thank you.

About the Submission Process

Award submissions must by received by close of business on Friday, May 24.

UVA Club Volunteers:

  • Six weeks prior to the awards ceremony, contact local schools to introduce the program, offer sponsorship, and coordinate award presentation.
  • Complete the registration form for each school hosting an award.

Please note:

  • UVA Clubs are responsible for supplying a copy of Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in 100 Objects for each award they sponsor.*
  • Many Clubs have individuals who each sponsor one or more book awards on behalf of the Club.*

A customizable bookplate and certificate will be mailed from the Office of Engagement to the person of contact listed on the registration form approximately four weeks before the award ceremony.

High Schools interested in participating:

  • If you have not been contacted by a UVA Club volunteer in your area, find a UVA Club near you.
  • If you are a high school participating independently, please contact us ( directly for the donation link. 
  • For public schools in need of financial assistance, please contact us.

*For more information about the Jefferson Book Award program, how to make a donation, and/or the submission process, please email the Jefferson Book Award coordinators, Dahlia Nelson or Sherry Dunaway, at


Submit a Jefferson Book Award


Presenting an award? Download the 2024 Jefferson Book Award Presentation Script



Thomas Jefferson considered the University of Virginia to be among his finest achievements--a living monument to his artistic and intellectual ambitions. Now, on the occasion of the University's bicentennial, Brendan Wolfe has assembled one hundred objects that, brought together in one fascinating book, offer a new, sometimes surprising history of Jefferson’s favorite project.

Beautifully illustrated with over one hundred new and archival images, this book brings to life a remarkable array of significant objects while offering to the reader the best introduction available to the history of Jefferson’s great institution.

Cover of Mr. Jefferson's Telescope
Frequently asked questions
What is the Jefferson Book Award Program?

The Jefferson Book Award program is an excellent way to recognize students' academic and individual achievements while introducing them to UVA's extraordinary opportunities. 

The book award is given to a Junior selected by the school, who embodies Jefferson's commitment to innovation, creativity, and the spirit of discovery in both academics and their community. 

When does the program start?

The Jefferson Book Award program typically begins in early February.  However, we do encourage individuals to register their schools as soon as possible using the Jefferson Book Award Registration page: 

Submit a Jefferson Book Award

**We understand that some schools have ceremonies in the Fall.  To make an off-season request please visit our website to fill out the Jefferson Book Award registration form. 

Who may participate in the Jefferson Book Award program?

There is no formal invitation needed to participate. All UVA Clubs and local high schools may participate freely by submitting a request for the Jefferson Book Award and purchasing the book. 

ALL requests will need to complete the Jefferson Book Award registration form: 

Submit a Jefferson Book Award  

How many book awards may be given?

Only one student should be selected for a book award per school. 

How is the book award sponsored? 

UVA Club volunteers have a list of schools historically sponsored by a UVA club, donor, volunteer, or alumnus. Schools may reach out to self-sponsor a book award through the registration form.

Submit a Jefferson Book Award  

What is the cost of Jefferson Book Award Sponsorship? Where can I find the donation link?

The cost of the sponsorship is $25 which covers the book, documents, and shipping.

There are several options: 

  • Option #1: If you are making a one-time sponsorship, you may use the donation link. Please e-mail for the link.
  • Option #2: UVA Club volunteers may order the books separately using Amazon or another third-party website.  
  • Option #3: If you are a UVA Club sponsoring multiple awards, you may order directly from the bookstore.
  • Option #4: We can order the books on your behalf and coordinate the transfer of funds for the book from your UVA Club account.

Please contact us to coordinate today! 

What will the schools receive? 

A congratulatory letter, customizable bookplate, and certificate are sent with the book once the donation has been submitted, or other arrangements have been made with the Office of Engagement.

How do I purchase the book as a UVA Club leader? 

Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in 100 Objects can be purchased from the UVA Bookstore or Amazon. The UVA Bookstore provides a discount.*

*In order to get the special pricing for UVA Clubs buying the award books, the purchaser must type UVA Alumni Club award book in the special instructions box at the bottom of the checkout window. 

UVA Bookstore discount details:

  • 1-9 copies - $26/ea
  • 10+ copies - $25/ea

Please note: The discount will not show on the initial checkout. It will be updated manually in the bookstore and the receipt will show the discounted amount.

*Contact Roy Cadoff in the UVA Bookstore (434.924.3721) for more information on ordering books.

How do I purchase the book as a high school representative? 

Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in 100 Objects can be purchased from Amazon or you may contact the Jefferson Book Awards Coordinators at for further information.