James Madison: Unsung Hero of the University

Overshadowed by the tremendous contributions made by Thomas Jefferson to establish the University, Madison’s role is often overlooked, although he worked closely with Jefferson to realize his vision for an institution of higher education to prepare students for their responsibilities as citizens of the new Republic. After Jefferson’s death in 1826, Madison was elected the University’s second Rector and guided the University through its fledgling period of development, a period marked by financial difficulties, the departure of several of its first faculty, and episodes of disruptive student unruliness. This exhibit marks the 250th anniversary of Madison’s birth.