“Leonard Sandridge joined the University as a member of the internal audit staff back in 1967,” said UVA President Teresa Sullivan at a luncheon at John Paul Jones Arena celebrating the university’s Chief Operating Officer and his career.
“That was a long time ago. In 1967, Lyndon Johnson was president, the Rolling Stones appeared for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show, a gallon of gas cost 33 cents. For our students here today, 1967 occurred about two and a half decades before you were born, in an ancient period known as the 20th century.”
Sandridge, who will retire in May after 44 years at the University, was lauded for his “effectiveness” as a leader, his “loyalty,” and “objectivity.” And, if a humorous speech by UVA Professor Larry Sabato was any indication, Sandridge may have found his life after UVA: politics.
“What is Leonard going to do in this so-called semi retirement?” joked Sabato. “There is a U.S. Senate vacancy in Virginia right now.” (Joking aside: Senator Jim Webb announced early this year that he is not running for re-election, and Democrats are pushing former Governor Tim Kaine to run against Republican candidate George Allen.)
Among many accomplishments during his tenure at UVA, Sandridge helped draft a financial plan for AccessUVA, the financial aid program that meets 100 percent of students’ financial needs, said Sullivan.
She also announced the creation and funding of the Leonard Sandridge Endowed Scholarship, which will provide support to children or grandchildren of UVA employees that show financial need.
“This scholarship combines two of Leonard’s great interests—financial aid for students and the well-being of the University employees and their families,” said Sullivan.
John Paul Jones Arena, site of the celebration
UVA COO Leonard Sandridge with UVA President Emeritus John Casteen, in a photo projected during Sandridge’s lunch
UVA Professor Larry Sabato asked the crowd to vote for the best slogan for an impromptu Sandridge Senate campaign. Choice A: "He’s just like us—only better." Choice B: "Not just another pretty face."