UC Alumnus Receives Jefferson-Inspired Teaching Award at Virginia
January 6, 2016
One of the most historic and admired public universities in the U.S. is the University of Virginia, the brainchild of Thomas Jefferson. Needless to say, there are few higher honors at UVa than being linked with distinction with Jefferson. That’s what happened to William J. Kehoe, a 1964 graduate of UC’s McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, when he recently received the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award.
Kehoe, the William F. O’Dell Professor of Commerce, largely credits his UC education for his success during a teaching career that has spanned four decades at Virginia. “I was an economics major at UC,” he says. “The quality of my education was outstanding, and it launched me to completing two master’s degrees and a doctorate that provided the educational underpinning for a career in higher education.”
As an aspiring college student in 1960, Kehoe never considered anywhere other than UC. “I knew it was high quality and located right in my home
area.” He worked in corporate life and served in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining the faculty at Virginia, where the spirit of the nation’s third president and author of the Declaration of Independence is very much alive.
“Jefferson’s vision of an academical village where students and faculty undertake an adventure of learning remains part of UVa today,” says Kehoe. And Jefferson would be proud of the professor that Kehoe became. In making its award to Kehoe, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation commented, “The testimonials on your behalf from your colleagues and students were simply laudatory, and we find ourselves not only in admiration of your devotion to our vocation, but thankful for it as well.” Kehoe received a $5,000 cash award, was granted the title of a Jefferson Scholars Foundation Faculty Fellow, and was invited to participate in all programs the foundation holds for its undergraduate scholars and graduate fellows.
Such a long career in Charlottesville has only sharpened Kehoe’s perception of the importance of UC in his life. The connection remains strong, and he visits campus occasionally; in fact, he had lunch in Tangeman University Center last summer.
“I follow news about UC and am proud that it is a major research university,” he says. “I’m impressed with how the campus has developed as well as the faculty.”