What are some of the best places to spend time at on grounds? Hear some of the summer guides share their favorite "spots" at UVA:
|PHOTO BY JAY KUHLMANN|
My favorite spot on grounds is the steps of the rotunda, after dark, right after lighting of the lawn, before we all leave for winter break. The marble is freezing and you can’t stay for too long, but the view is incredible. Seeing all the way toward Old Cabell hall, with the twinkling lights illuminating the pavilions down the lawn is a great reminder of everything I love about UVA; the beautiful landscape and rich tradition that is entwined in the culture of our school. Nothing is a better study break than a quick walk over from my coveted spot in the scholars lab of Alderman Library and taking in the view.
-Emma Petkofsky, 3rd year
Let me try to explain: every day I sit in this chair after I finish with classes, steaming cup of tea in hand, prepared to take on the endless pages a week I have to cram down as an English Major. This is a simple chair; perhaps its style is a bit outdated, but the dog-eared pages, newly formed creases in book bindings, and blue-ink underlines of passages are experiences that can only be created in this chair. I am prepared to be judged for how nerdy this may sound: this is my daily study ritual.
-Sandra Menendez, 2nd year
I spend a lot of time in Nau and Gibson, two of the newer academic buildings at UVA that house the History and Politics departments. One of my favorite “spots” on grounds is the space that connects them—known as South Grounds Commons. It’s a two-story study area, with huge glass windows looking out at the complex’s courtyard, on one side, and the South Lawn, on the other. On a cold winter day, with the sun shining directly through those windows onto the tables and sofas, there is no better place to study. You can even conveniently fuel your caffeine addiction, with a Starbucks inside that accepts the UVA dining plan.
-Sam Atkeson, 3rd year
Over the past two years, I have found three different places that I consider my favorites. The first I discovered was the McCormick Observatory. Every other Friday the Observatory is open for a public night, where UVA astronomy professors give an overview of astronomical observation and currently visible planets and stars. Even without a telescope, the view from the top of Observatory Hill is phenomenal. Academically, I enjoy Gibson and Nau halls, which holds UVA’s politics and religious studies departments. As a science person, it’s always an experience in Gibson/Nau; I’ve overheard conversations about the political status of most of the countries in the Middle East, the various orders of the angels, and the Bible’s influence on William Faulkner’s writings. Every time I study in Gibson/Nau, I indirectly learn a few tidbits just from my eavesdropping! Lastly, my favorite view on grounds is the gravel walkways connecting the Lawn’s gardens. The flowering trees create a tunnel over the path and ivy creeps over the brick walls from the gardens. It’s especially beautiful now, at the end of summer so enjoy it while the flowers are still there. All of these places are lovely, and I hope everyone can enjoy them as much as I do.
-Blair Blanchette, 3rd year
|Photo by Mark Rhodes|
When it comes to my favorite spots on grounds, I have to divide my favorite spots into social areas and study areas. When thinking of my favorite social spot, I have to say, I am pretty biased. One of my favorite parts of my week is going to University Singers with conductor Michael Slon. When 5:30pm comes, everyone in University Singers blasts out of the center doors of Old Cabell Hall headed to dinner, libraries, or events around grounds. Walking out of Old Cabell in the early evening, seeing the lawn, academical village, sunset, and the bustling student life, there is truly nothing like it. Another favorite spot of mine is the top floor of Rice Hall. Now, let it be widely known Rice Hall is the center for computer science engineering and my brain just doesn't work that way. But, that doesn't keep me from going into one of the newest and most innovative buildings on grounds. I love going to Rice Hall because there are great chairs, huge windows with spectacular views, and an added perk is that Rice is one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings on the east coast. There are so many great spots at UVa and I cannot wait to find more in the future.
-Keith Wilson, 2nd year