Thomas Jefferson Foundation bestows highest honors
University chooses FBI director, Teach for America founder, landscape architect to receive medals
The University and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation has selected the winners of the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Foundation medals — landscape architect Laurie Olin, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp.
The medal, the highest honor bestowed by the foundation, are given each year to leaders in architecture, law and citizen leadership — “three pursuits close to Jefferson’s heart,” University spokesperson McGregor McCance said.
Olin, a renowned landscape architect, designed Bryant Park in New York City and the Washington Monument grounds in Washington, D.C. He also designed the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds for the University in 2010.
Mueller, who has served as FBI director since September 2001, has overseen the bureau’s transformation into a national security agency charged with responding to the growing threats of terrorism and organized crime. He will step down this year, making him the longest-serving FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover.
“Robert Mueller’s accomplishments are remarkable standing alone, but his integrity, dedication, discipline and humility make him an ideal candidate for the Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law,” Law School Dean Paul Mahoney said in a statement.
Kopp, who founded Teach for America in 1989, has overseen the organization’s development as CEO. She is also the CEO and co-founder of Teach for All, the umbrella group that encompasses 25 organizations similar to Teach for America in countries around the world.
“We honor Ms. Kopp for creating an organization that recruits some of America’s most talented college graduates to spend some time teaching in under served areas in the United States,” Batten School Dean Harry Harding said.
Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, will present the awards to the recipients along with University President Teresa Sullivan.
“As Jefferson once counseled, ‘honesty, knowledge and industry are the qualities which will lead you to the highest employments of your country,’” Bowman said in a statement. “These same qualities describe this talented group of Thomas Jefferson Foundation medalists … who, like Jefferson, shape the world we live in through their leadership.”
Olin, Mueller and Kopp will receive their medals April 12 in a ceremony at Monticello, the day before Founder’s Day. They will also be giving public talks at the Architecture School, the Law School and the Batten School, respectively.