Board of Directors

Rotunda Restoration Ball, May 1965. Photo by Ed Roseberry (b. 1925). An annual tradition at the University since 1964, the formal Ball was established to help raise money towards the restoration and preservation of the University of Virginia Rotunda. The effort focused on returning the Rotunda to its original, Jeffersonian design. That meant clearing away most of the alterations that architect Stanford White had implemented following the tragic fire of October 27, 1895, which had destroyed an 1853 annex and completely gutted the Rotunda. The Restoration Balls, held in the Rotunda for many years, raised awareness of the historic project and significant funds as well. The Federal Government awarded the University of Virginia a grant in 1972 to help make the restoration a reality, and the U.S. Bicentennial Committee strongly endorsed the effort by naming the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda as “the nation’s #1 priority” in historic preservation. The massive project got underway in 1973 and involved more than two years of work, during which the Rotunda was closed to the public. It reopened in time for the American Bicentennial Celebration and was officially dedicated on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, 1976.