Morven Programs


Focusing on events and programs, teaching, research, and outreach, Morven Programs reflect the University of Virginia’s strategic priorities for global education, science and technology, and enhancement of the student experience.

Approximately 200 events were held during the 2014-2015 academic year at Morven, with planning underway for a robust and exciting year ahead.

Among the goals and objectives for 2015 and 2016, Morven Programs hopes to continue enhancing the role and mission of the University of Virginia by connecting with academic leaders and promoting innovative scholarship among students and faculty. The program department, now part of the office of the Vice Provost of Global Affairs, has a mission to create opportunities for students and faculty to interact with visiting leaders from around the world through Morven, a powerful destination for critical thinking.

Pioneering Place-based Education
Over the past three years, the Office of the Vice President for Research and faculty members and students from eight departments have partnered with the Morven Project to demonstrate the potential of Morven as a laboratory for a wide range of research-based educational programs. From the fall 2009 evening seminar on “the real value of the rural landscape” to the inaugural 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Morven Summer Institute, Morven has provided distinctive opportunities for faculty and student collaboration and for interdisciplinary research and place-based learning.

Breaking ground in Spring 2011, a student-led team restored a one-acre kitchen garden at Morven. The Morven Kitchen Garden productive and educational garden currently serves as a local food systems laboratory for students and faculty, including Morven Summer Institute participants. The Kitchen Garden offers a unique student and faculty CSA program, in which CSA members receive a box of produce each week, dropped off on grounds.

The Morven Summer Institute (MSI) is a unique and intensive summer academic program which is rooted in interdisciplinary, place-based learning. The inaugural MSI took was launched in May 2011 and has continued every summer since on the grounds of Morven Farm. The program was open to UVA undergraduates and graduate students, as well as students enrolled at other colleges or universities.

A venue for critical thinking and creative problem solving
Located just 15 minutes from downtown Charlottesville and approximately 2 hours from Washington DC, Morven provides both privacy and accessibility. Throughout the year, Morven hosts educational and charitable programs and events as well as select corporate retreats. From Morven Seminars, to organizational retreats and leadership development forums, Morven continues to be a destination for critical thinking.

A dedication to history
Morven offers a landscape that is historically rich, located in close proximity and with historical connection to Monticello and Ash Lawn. As we learn to look back to our founding fathers to offer insight to today’s social and political crises, Morven is also the research hub for emerging findings on Jefferson's proposal for emancipation. With the help of renown local Jeffersonian scholars, historical research currently being conducted deals with an emancipation proposal advanced by Thomas Jefferson’s “adoptive son” William Short, for whom Jefferson originally purchased the Morven property.

Ongoing archeological research at Morven offers an even deeper glimpse into the past. An inter-institutional Morven Archeology Survey team (MAST) includes archeologists from Washington and Lee, the Flowerdew Hundred collection, Rivanna Archaeological Services, and local/regional historians.