Final exam

Final exam

1. How many books does the UVA Library contain? [answer]

a. A little over 5 million
b. 2.5 million
c. Counting would spoil the Library’s magnificence
d. The only book necessary, partner, the Bible

2. Who was the last UVA basketball player drafted into the NBA? [answer]

a. Roger Mason Jr.
b. R.J. Reynolds
c. Ralph Sampson
d. George “Peach Bucket” Jeffers

3. How much is UVA trying to raise with its Capital Campaign? [answer]

a. $75 million-ish
b. Not gonna lie. Couple bucks for a cold beer.
c. $3 billion
d. How much you got?

4. How many points a game did UVA basketball coach Dave Leitao average as a player at Northeastern University? [answer]

a. 14.3
b. 6.0
c. 2.3
d. Too busy yelling to score

Dave Leitao

5. Writing home, why did Edgar Allen Poe say that his friend Wickliffe was expelled from UVA? [answer]

a. Poems didn’t rhyme
b. Caught with corncob pipe
c. Bit a student in a fight
d. Wasn’t Hoo material

6. How many acres of land does UVA own, making it rather hard to ignore and easy to revile? [answer]

a. 220
b. 438
c. 1,883
d. 3,392

Andrew Alston

7. What UVA class did student Andrew Alston credit with learning how to “defend himself” by stabbing Walker Sisk 20 times? [answer]

a. Macro economics
b. Eight-week Aikido class
c. Modern American Poetry
d. Intro to Poli Sci

8. How did William Faulkner, then a UVA professor, fracture his collarbone in Charlottesville? [answer]

a. Escaping a burning bar…er…barn
b. Furiously typing a single sentence spanning 17 pages
c. Falling off a horse
d. Falling off the wagon

9. Which of these was not a final project for a master’s candidate in the American Studies program? [answer]

a. BBQ
b. The American Hobo
c. Halls of Fame
d. Cheddar cheese

10. When did the first documented act of streaking the Lawn occur? [answer]

a. The Summer of Love
b. Right around the time Jefferson’s first large shipment of wine from France arrived
c. Tradition has never been documented
d. October 1937

11. Which school had the highest undergraduate enrollment in the fall of 2007? [answer]

a. McIntire School of Commerce
b. College of Arts & Sciences
c. School of Engineering and Applied Science
d. School of Easy Knocks

12. What happened when the first black student attempted to enter UVA in 1935? [answer]

a. The school of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, admitted her
b. State paid for her tuition—to an out-of-state school that actually accepted black students
c. Admissions wait-listed her
d. Board of Visitors harumphed repeatedly

13. Light on firewood money, what did Edgar Allen Poe burn to keep warm one frosty night while living on the Lawn? [answer]

a. Piles of poems
b. All his clothes
c. Too drunk to notice he was cold
d. His furniture

14. Besides a painting of TJ himself, whose portraits hang in Jefferson Hall, where the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society meet? [answer]

a. Members Edgar Allen Poe and Woodrow Wilson
b. Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan
c. Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and JEB Stuart
d. Norman Mailer and sundry critics

15. What crazy thing are fourth-year students supposed to do on the day of the last football home game? [answer]

a. Not wear a tie to the game
b. Drink a fifth of liquor
c. Make out with Cav Man
d. Piss off Al Groh

16. What is the largest donation in history to UVA? [answer]

a. $12 million
b. Howie Long’s son
c. $100 million
d. $454 million

17. According to College Wikis, what do you have to do to correctly streak the Lawn? [answer]

a. Kiss the ass end of the Homer statue
b. Leave your clothes at the top of the Rotunda stairs
c. Look through Rotunda keyhole and say, “Good evening, Mr. Jefferson”
d. All of the above, while naked (and drunk)

18. When a member of the Seven Society dies, what happens? [answer]

a. The chapel bell tolls every seven seconds, for seven minutes
b. His or her name is revealed
c. A wreath of black magnolias, in the shape of a seven, appears at the funeral
d. All of the above

19. What does UVA’s endowment shake out to, per student? [answer]

a. Enough to buy and sell you
b. 200,019—in dollars, unfortunately
c. The cost of a Charlottesville condo (2004 prices)
d. Amount too obscene for family newspaper

20. After jacking up out-of-state tuition by 6.7 percent, how much does UVA cost for nonresident UVA undergrads? [answer]

a. $37,420
b. $29,600
c. $18,875
d. $9,666

21. When did the first Board of Visitors meeting occur? [answer]

a. 1776
b. 1812
c. 1819
d. 1856

22. Who was John Paul Jones Arena named for? [answer]

a. Davy Jones’ lockermate
b. Led Zeppelin bassist
c. Revolutionary War–era point guard
d. A very rich man

John Paul Jones Arena

23. Why did student Joseph G. Semmes shoot and kill John A.G. Davis, a  professor, in 1840? [answer]

a. Unhappy with first-year experience
b. Davis tried to unmask him
c. Davis failed his senior thesis “Bearded White Men and their effect on American History”
d. Argument over the 2nd Amendment

24. President John Casteen won the Mishima Award in 1987 for what? [answer] a. Pole-vaulting
b. Fundraising
c. Smiling
d. Collection of short stories

25. After being sentenced to two life terms for killing his girlfriend’s parents, what did former UVA student Jens Soering do while in prison? [answer]

a. Push-ups. Lots of push-ups.
b. Begin to establish an inmate honor code
c. Confess
d. Write the book Way of the Prisoner

Tom Santi

26. UVA tight end Tom Santi will be catching passes from whom next year? [answer]

a. Al Groh
b. Peyton Manning
c. Sean Singletary
d. Tom Brady

27. What’s the name of UVA’s oldest improv group? [answer]

a. Assaulted Nuts
b. Hoos On First
c. Amuse-Bouche
d. Mr. Jefferson’s Improvisational Players, Inc.

Chris Long

28. Did you know Chris Long, the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NFL draft, has a dad? [answer]

a. Really? I hadn’t heard.
b. No, I wasn’t aware.
c. Dad? The one with glasses?
d. Yes, I’m sick of hearing about Howie too.

29. Which state has the lowest number of UVA alumni? [answer]

a. Alaska
b. Louisiana
c. Montana
d. Utah

30. Who is UVA’s top rated professor on

a. Political know-it-all Larry Sabato (see sidebar)
b. Poet Charles Wright
c. Grad student Amy Wentworth
d. Adolescent crush expert Peter Sheras

Extra Credit: How well do you know Larry Sabato?

Larry Sabato

1. What is name of the website run by Larry Sabato, UVA’s (and the nation’s) political guru?

a. Larry J. Sabato’s Mustache
b. Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball
c. Larry J. Sabato’s Witch’s Cauldron
d. HandicappingHorse

2. What is Sabato’s tagline? [answer]

a. “Cross me and I’ll slaughter you in print!”
b. “Call me!”
c. “Politics is a good thing!”
d. “I epitomize what’s wrong with our political process!”

3. Sabato was dubbed the “Mark McGwire of political analysts.” What does that mean? [answer]

a. He has massive forearms
b. He’s not good on the defensive
c. He’s done drugs with Jose Canseco
d. Given a chance, will stonewall Congress

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Final exam

Final exam

1.) It’s true, the UVA Library boasts 5.1 million books, along with 17.3 million manuscripts (civil rights icon Julian Bond’s among them) and 152,487 maps. If you were to read two books a day—and never take a day off to be hung over or arrested—it would take you roughly 6,986 years to read all of UVA’s collection. And boy, would you be a teeth-shattering bore at dinner parties. Not to mention old.

2.) Roger Mason Jr. left UVA to jump to the NBA—and his family hasn’t shut up about it since. According to ABC, which covers the NBA playoffs, the rest of the Mason clan is highly educated with multiple degrees. And they don’t miss the opportunity to let the 6’5” Washington Wizards swingman know that he lags behind. Mason left UVA after his junior year and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the second round.

3.) Three. Billion. That’s right. Billion with a “B.” While some of the crustier Ivy League universities have been in the fundraising business for close to a hundred years, Bob Sweeney, UVA’s senior vice president for development and public affairs, says that Virginia only started looking at fundraising seriously in 1990. That was President John Casteen’s first year, which should come as a surprise to no one. In 2007, UVA took in $427 million, putting it slightly ahead of schedule in its quest to bank the $3 billion.

4.) Let’s just say UVA basketball coach Dave Leitao wasn’t in danger of breaking any NCAA records. The 6’7" Northeastern University forward averaged an even 6.0 points per game in his college career. But while Leitao was busy not scoring, he was also able to learn a thing or 62 about the game from then-NU coach Jim Calhoun. Leitao later served on Calhoun’s staff at NU and the University of Connecticut, where the team won the NCAA tournament in 1999. Eight years later, he won ACC Coach of the Year honors at UVA, where he is presumably now busy praying for a big man.

Edgar Allen Poe

5.) Nobody knows if this Wickliffe character could write poetry, but he sure as shit couldn’t fight. Wrote Poe to his not-really-adoptive father, John Allen: “We have had a great many fights up here lately — The faculty expelled Wickliffe last night for general bad conduct—but more especially for biting one of the student’s arms with whom he was fighting—I saw the whole affair—it took place before my door—Wickliffe was much the strongest but not content with that—after getting the other completely in his power, he began to bite—I saw the arm afterwards — and it was really a serious matter — It was bitten from the shoulder to the elbow — and it is likely that pieces of flesh as large as my hand will be obliged to be cut out — He is from Kentucky — the same one that was in suspension when you were up here some time ago.”

6.) UVA owns 3,392 acres of land in Charlottesville and elsewhere. The City of Charlottesville encompasses 10.4 square miles. So, yeah, when there’s an 800-pound gorilla in the room, you can bet it’s wearing an orange and blue tie, a blazer and swilling cheep beer. UVA owns 535 buildings on those acres, worth more than $2.4 billion.

7.) When UVA student Andrew Alston stabbed Free Union resident and volunteer firefighter Walker Sisk 20 times, he argued that he had used some moves from his eight-week aikido class to redirect the knife—still in Sisk’s hand—back toward Sisk. Uh-huh. The jury wasn’t having it, and sentenced Alston to three years for killing Sisk. It didn’t help that Alston’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the incident was more than two times the legal limit. In March 2008, Alston was ordered to pay the Sisks $3,600, a small part of the $600,000 the court originally ordered before Alston filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

William Faulkner

8.) The great Southern novelist and bourbon consumer fell off a horse while riding at Farmington. By the time Faulkner came to Charlottesville to serve as a UVA writer-in-residence, his alcoholism had begun to hold him prisoner. But the place made an impact on the writer of very, very long sentences. At the time of his death, he chose UVA as the place for his papers and manuscripts. The UVA Library has the largest collection of Faulkner’s manuscripts. That includes typescript material from 19 published novels.

9.) Good news to you undergrads thinking of chasing that American Studies master’s degree: Cheddar cheese is still open as a cultural construct with which to consider the shifting paradigm of American marketing in a post-ironic, post-postmodern society. Or some bullshit like that. But BBQ fans, you’re outta luck. Laura Dove tackled that way back in 1995. Sam Shepard is out, as is the Dude Ranch and White Trash. May we, however, suggest studying Henry Rollins through the lens of William Little’s “The Waste Fix: Seizures of the Sacred From Upton Sinclair to the Sopranos.” We think it would be a fascinating discussion of the American male condition in a post- feminist world. Or some bullshit like that.

10.) A wry October 1937 article from College Topics says it all: “At the Lewis boarding house last Thursday night some of the first-year men got terribly thirsty. So they all went down to the Corner in their pajamas. This was around two a.m. Evidently they had been thirsty earlier in the night, but this is beside the point. When the over-jolly crowd got back to the Lewis’ a couple of them forsook their pajamas and rushed pell-mell, Adam and Eve fashion up to their rooms. And to think that a nudist colony is in the making at Virginia. That’s Jeffersonian Democracy for you.”

11.) With 10,114 enrolled undergraduates, the College of Arts & Sciences easily boasts the largest enrollment at UVA. And that makes sense. Don’t really know what you want to do for the rest of your life? Want to take a bunch of classes where arguing over “What is a right answer anyway?” is considered a right answer? Then get thee to an Artery. Or something like that. As for the science people, well, make friends with ’em. You might need to borrow a couple bucks after graduation.

12.) This was 1935, and UVA, being a beacon of enlightenment, sure as hell didn’t admit the unnamed student. Instead, the state funded her tuition to a school that did accept black students, somewhere nice and far and out of the state. Fifteen years later, the first black applicant entered the Law School—by way of a federal court ruling. It took another 11 years until, in 1961, the first black student enrolled in the University. Now UVA boasts one of the highest graduation rates for black students.

13.) Did you know Edgar Allen Poe went to the University of Virginia? By now you do, but we really can’t resist all the gothic-tinged trivia one can dig up on the old drunk. Like this little nugget: Short on firewood one night, Poe burned his furniture to keep warm. But this isn’t a tale of a drunken man. It was one of poverty. When Poe enrolled, he couldn’t afford the $75 tuition fee for the three-class load. Instead, he took two classes and tried his hand at gambling to increase his income. And you know that old adage: Great Poet, Shitty Bluffer. Eventually he ran out of funds, then firewood…then furniture.

14.) When Washington Post writer Jim Morrison set the scene about the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, he was careful to throw in the detail about the portraits of Lee and Stuart way up in his story. Stuart’s portrait has since been removed, but Lee’s hangs alongside those of the aforementioned Poe and the as-of-yet-unmentioned Woodrow Wilson. The story covered a scandal that revolved around accusations that society members forced recruits to have sex. The Society was founded in 1825 by 16 disgruntled members of the now-defunct Patrick Henry Society. Its official drink is the whiskey sour. We’ll leave it up to you here to make some tasteless joke that links forcing recruits to have sex with whiskey sours.

15.) You have to wonder which came first, the tradition or its name. The so-called “Fourth-year fifth” is such a great name for a blackout-inducing tradition that it makes you want to kill an entire fifth of liquor on the day of the last home football game. As per the name, the tradition is reserved for seniors, though we’re sure you can still participate even if you’re not set to graduate in a semester. Or if it’s not the last home game. Or if it’s Tuesday. (c.f. Faulkner and Poe)

16.) No, Chris Long is not the largest donation to UVA. In fact, for an NFL defensive end, he might be a little undersized. The largest donor in UVA history came as a part of the ongoing Capital Campaign. In April 2007, Frank Batten donated $100 million to fund the establishment of a school of leadership and public policy. So where does one person get that much cheese to toss around, naming schools after himself and such? Batten got his undergrad degree at UVA, then an MBA at Harvard, then became chairman and CEO of Landmark Communications in 1967. Then, just to show off a little, he was the chairman of The Associated Press and served as the first rector of Old Dominion University.

17.) To streak the Lawn correctly, you must do all of the above: Drop your clothes at the top of the Rotunda stairs, kiss Homer’s ass, then do the whole thing with the keyhole and greeting the ghost of Jefferson. When TJ founded the University, did he know that this many naked co-eds would be greeting him with vodka on their breaths? And if so, how did he feel about that?

Statue of Homer

18.) When a member of the Seven Society dies, the chapel bell tolls every seven seconds for seven minutes. A wreath of black magnolias in the shape of the numeral 7 appears at the funeral. And finally, the member’s name is revealed. Pretty damn spooky, no? The Seven Society was founded around 1905 and is a significant donor to UVA. It’s easy to spot its gifts: They’re usually in quantities that include the number seven: $777 or $7,000. Want to get in touch with them? Legend has it that the only way to do so is to stick a letter at the base of the Jefferson statue inside the Rotunda.

19.) UVA students are walking around Grounds, beaming from ear to ear. That’s because each one is worth $200,019. That’s what UVA’s endowment shakes down to per student. And that puts UVA at No. 2 in public university per capita endowments, behind the Virginia Military Institute. Just to give you a little public-versus-private context, Yale’s endowment —No. 2 among private schools—amounts to $1.9 million per student.

20.) If you’re an out-of-state undergraduate, UVA is going to cost you about $29,600 a year before it’s all over. Compare that with the scant $9,300 (a 9.4-percent increase) it costs Virginia residents to attend UVA for a year. And by “scant,” we mean “more than our lives are worth.” Collectively. The education may be first rate—and according to most rankings, it is—but the price tag is enough to scare the solid-gold buttons off a WASP’s blazer. Or not. We hear it takes over $75K to do that.

21.) The first Board of Visitors meeting took place in 1819. We dare you to say something funny about this. We fucking dare you.

22.) No, the JPJ is not named after somebody cool. It is named after somebody rich. Wait…we take that back. John Tudor Jones—the 1976 UVA grad who gave $35 million for the arena to name it after his dad, John Paul Jones—was rich. But how do we know his dad isn’t cool? We don’t. Jones senior, a 1948 graduate of the law school himself, loves basketball. And basketball players are much cooler than bassists and sailors (see: Adrian Joseph versus Paul McCartney versus the extras from Top Gun). So yes, the JPJ was named after somebody cool, by somebody with enough money to buy cool.

23.) In November of 1840, Joseph G. Semmes of Washington, Georgia and a classmate were on the Lawn, firing pistols, as you do when you’re a UVA student and a bit of an asshole. Both were wearing masks. Professor Davis tried to unmask Semmes, as he was “committing a high infringement of the law of good order of the Institution.” Semmes wasn’t having it, and in an unmitigated act of straight-up busterness (as we used to say back on the West Coast, circa 1993), Semmes jerked away, ran a couple of yards, then turned around and shot Davis. After popping the professor, Semmes fled on foot, an unmistakable act of that Southern honor we hear so much about.

24.) UVA President John Casteen won the Mishima Award for a collection of short stories. Before he was the University’s star fundraiser, Casteen earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in English from UVA. While enrolled, he wrote a column for The Cavalier Daily. Before becoming UVA’s president, he served as Virginia’s secretary of education in 1982. All of this has absolutely nothing to do with his short stories, because we can’t find them anywhere. But something tells us his thesis is just sitting somewhere in town, waiting to be pored over.

John Casteen

25.) After being convicted of killing his girlfriend’s parents, UVA student Jens Soering wrote the book Way of the Prisoner, a treatise on Centering Prayer. Soering is also the author of Convict Christ: What the Gospel Says About Criminal Justice and An Expensive Way to Make Bad People Worse. Soering maintains his innocence in the murder of the Haysoms.

Jens Soering

26.) That would be Peyton Manning. Santi was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft. While Pro Bowler Dallas Clark is No. 1 on the depth chart, Santi’s prospects of landing a role with the Colts look good. Second-string tight end Ben Utecht left the Colts in the off season for Cincinnati. Now all Santi has to do is learn what the hell Manning is doing in the 20 seconds between huddle and snap.

27.) Amuse-Bouche. It’s a year old. Don’t ask us why it’s named that. Probably some dumb reason. It, like every person and entity in this brave new world, has a Facebook page. And now that we look at it, the members seem pretty cool. Maybe you should check them out and recommend crazy improv scenarios. A hermaphroditic aardvark trying to pay three years of back taxes while high on meth during the blind IRS agent’s first day is our favorite.


28.) Howie Long is Chris Long’s dad? It’s like the sports writers of the nation didn’t even pick up on that angle.

Howie Long

29.) If you’ve just graduated from UVA and four years were all you could take of those collar-popping, furry-booted people, well then, you’ll want to pack your bags and head to Montana. Just 21 UVA alumni live in the border state. But if you think about it, that’s really all you need for a Montana town. Maybe there really is a Hooville. In Montana, Population 21. Let’s see you write a cute and uplifting children’s book about that.

Amy Wentworth

30.) Despite bringing big-name pols like Hillary Clinton to class, it ain’t Larry Sabato. And it isn’t the (oxymoronic) famous poet Charles Wright. Grad student Amy Wentworth, who teaches Spanish, is ranked the highest on with seven five-star ratings. Ah yes, it’s always the nontenured who capture the heart of their students.

Extra Credit: How well do you know Larry Sabato?

1.  If you want to know just what kind of mess we’re preparing to get ourselves into, then there is no better place than Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Sabato breaks down the race for the White House, Virginia’s governor’s seat, not to mention U.S. Senate and House races. And damn if the man’s not accurate. The Crystal Ball picked 525 of 530 2004 contests, missing just one Senate race, one House race, a governor’s race and two Electoral College states.

2. Sabato is nothing if not an optimist. Thus his tag line: “Politics is a good thing.” For whom, well, he doesn’t say.

3. Trick question. This is perhaps the most perplexing comparison in the history of baseball and political analysts. Is Sabato somehow cheating? Is he only a long-ball hitter? Breaking out in acne after age 50? Consider this the political koan of our day.

Posted In:     News

Previous Post

Another deanship filled

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Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to

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