Brendan Nigro named as next Board of Visitors student member

Nigro’s term as student member of the Board will begin June 1


Brendan Nigro is a third-year College student and currently serves as chair of the University Guide Service. 

Sarah Lindamood | Cavalier Daily

Third-year College student Brendan Nigro was named Thursday as the next student member of the University Board of Visitors for the 2018-19 academic year. 

Nigro currently serves as the chair of the University Guide Service and is a resident advisor. He has also served on the University’s Advisory Committee on the Future of the Historic Landscape and was one of 46 students to receive the Harrison Undergraduate Research Grant this year.

Nigro’s election was announced during a meeting of the full Board in the Rotunda Thursday afternoon. 

Nigro said in an email to The Cavalier Daily that his leadership positions and past experiences at the University have prepared him for his new role, as he hopes to give a voice to students in his role on the Board. 

“My involvement in the University Guide Service and as a member of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the Historic Landscape has led me to grapple with the complex history of our University,” Nigro said. “The Board is facing tough questions regarding our history as demonstrated in their decision to remove the Confederate plaques from the Rotunda. I hope to contribute a student voice to these issues.”

While the student member is not a voting position, the appointee serves as a liaison between the Board and the student body — providing information to the Board on issues that affect students.

“The position presents the opportunity to represent student voices in important conversations,” Nigro said. “As the University embarks on its third century, we have the unique opportunity to articulate the values of our community and what we strive to be moving forward. From my perspective, this articulation of values cannot be achieved without student voices which I hope to elevate to the Board level.”

Nigro will succeed fourth-year College student Bryanna Miller.

Miller described the selection process as difficult for both the student selection committee and the Board of Visitors Executive Committee, which reviewed many applications and interviewed four finalists for the position.

“We had many incredible finalists, and I think that U.Va. produces a class of student leaders that go far above the rest, so I think we would have been well-served selecting any of the people who applied,” Miller said in an interview Thursday. “Brendan really stood out to us as someone that could really do an incredible job in this role.” 

Miller added that Nigro has excelled in his previous leadership positions — an attribute that she thinks will help him on the Board.

“Brendan is one of the most thoughtful individuals I’ve ever encountered,” Miller said. “I think that he’s really distinguished himself as a thought leader in many areas, specifically in how we leverage our history to our advantage. I think that that is a perspective that the Board is going to greatly benefit from in the future.” 

In his role as the student member, Nigro will both serve as the voice of the student body to the Board and carry the responsibility of passing on information to students when the Board makes a decision.

“It’s really a dual role,” Miller said. “On the one hand you have to represent the student voice to the Board of Visitors and on the other you have to represent the Board of Visitors to the student body. I think that Brendan will do a really incredible job of serving in that intermediary role and represent both aspects of the University very well.”

Nigro said he is excited to work with the Board during the next school year and is looking forward to meeting students and leaders.

“In talking with the current student member, Bryanna Miller, I am really excited to meet members of the Board and other University leaders,” Nigro said. “I think it will be a special opportunity to meet so many people who care deeply about the University and improving it for generations of students to come.”

Whitt Clement, who was appointed to the Board of Visitors by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in 2015, was one of the Board members who interviewed Nigro for the position.

“He was among four finalists who were all outstanding,” Clement said. “It was a difficult decision. We’d thought that he has the breadth of his student experience, particularly chairing the student guide program and his extensive contacts particularly on the undergraduate level, made a very compelling case for his selection.”

Nigro’s term as student member of the Board will begin June 1.

“I am tremendously humbled by the opportunity to serve the University as student member,” Nigro said. “I look forward to meeting with students to best represent their voices moving forward.”

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