Living on the Lawn

November 26th, 2009

Last month my family moved into Pavilion II, the house that abuts the Rotunda on the east side (the right as you face the Rotunda). This elegant and unassuming house is a gateway that connects two very different worlds, in the most beguiling ways. From the Lawn, perhaps America’s most perfect physical expression of the universe of learning, one enters a house that is elegantly elongated, both vertically and horizontally, with light flooding in from its triple-hung windows. Walking past the living room that our movers began calling “the ballroom” as they reassembled an old Schimmel piano there, and the dining room that leads to the back door, one arrives at a breathtaking vista that reveals what John Donne might have called “a little world cunningly made”: sloping layers of garden that offer quiet refuge and solace from the hustle and bustle of academic life.

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Virginia in Peking

November 3rd, 2009

Last week the College opened an office on the campus of Peking University.  It is located on the fifth floor of a state-of-the art building, overlooking a stately courtyard, surrounded by stunningly beautiful modern academic buildings that keep springing up, as the Chinese are wont to say, like bamboo shoots after the spring rain. We expect to put this office at Peking University to good use to facilitate research collaboration and faculty and student exchanges between the two universities.

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