UVA, Monticello Announce Recipients of 2017 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals

UVA, Monticello Announce Recipients of 2017 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals

UVA, Monticello Announce Recipients of 2017 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals

Image_ N.R. Narayana Murthy

Photo Caption:  Narayana Murthy is the 2017 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medalist in Global Innovation. (Photo courtesy of Narayana Murthy)

On April 13, the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will present their highest honors, the 2017 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in Law, Citizen Leadership, Global Innovation and Architecture, respectively, to:

1) Law: Loretta Lynch, the first African-American female attorney general in U.S. history, known for her impressive career prosecuting cases involving narcotics, violent crimes, public corruption and civil rights.

2) Citizen Leadership:  Alice Waters, founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project, chef, author, food activist, founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California, who has championed local, sustainable agriculture for more than four decades.

3) Architecture:  Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Irish founders and directors of Grafton Architects, renowned for their creative and visionary academic and educational buildings.

Thomas Jefferson Award Luncheon 2009
Thomas Jefferson Award Luncheon 2009

4) Global Innovation:  N.R. Narayana Murthy, Indian entrepreneur and visionary leader who founded and grew Infosys into an information technology powerhouse through the design and implementation of the global delivery model for outsourcing services. 

  • Narayana Murthy, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Global InnovationIn 1981, Narayana Murthy founded Infosys, a global software consulting company headquartered in Bangalore.He served as Infosys’s CEOfrom 1981 to 2002, as chair and chief mentor from 1981 to 2011, and as chair emeritus from August 2011 to May 2013. Under his leadership, Infosys was listed on NASDAQ in 1999.

    Murthy articulated, designed and implemented the “global delivery model,” which became the foundation for the huge success in IT services outsourcing from India. Having led key corporate governance initiatives in India, he also is an IT adviser to several Asian countries. 

    “In the early ’80s, as a computer engineer, Murthy seized what he saw as great potential in software services and built a company and ultimately an industry that has pioneered major changes in India’s business culture – creating jobs, raising business standards and launching a foundation to help the underprivileged,” said Scott C. Beardsley, dean of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. “His innovations and leadership in the creation of a global software and services industry have created true value for humanity.”

    Murthy serves on the boards of the Ford Foundation, United Nations Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He is a member of the University of Tokyo’s Global Advisory Board. He has served as a member of the HSBC board and the Unilever board. He has served on the boards of Cornell University, Wharton School, Rhodes Trust and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He has also chaired the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

    In 2012, Fortune magazine listed him among the “12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time,”and The Economist ranked him among the 10 most-admired global business leaders in 2005. In 2014, he was ranked 13 th among CNBC’s 25 global business leaders who have made maximum impact on society during the last 25 years. Murthy is ranked among the top 10 of the Financial Times’ list of “Business pioneers in technology,” published in March 2015. He is the first Indian winner of Ernst and Young’s World Entrepreneur of the Year award.

    Murthy is a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He received the 2012 Hoover Medal. The Tech Museum in San Jose, California awarded him the James C. Morgan GlobalHumanitarian Award in 2012. He received the 2007 Ernst Weber Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, USA.

    Murthyhas been awarded the Legion d’honneur by the government of France, the CBE by the British government and the Padma Vibhushanby the government of India.

    He has also received the Max Schmidheiny Liberty Prize. He has appeared in rankings of businessmen and innovators published by BusinessWeek, Time, CNN, Fortune, Forbes, Financial Times and India Today.

    He is also a trustee of the Infosys Science Foundation, which governs the Infosys Prize, an annual award, to honor outstanding achievements of researchers and scientists across six categories.

    To mark the occasion of his receiving the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Global Innovation, the Darden School of Business will host a public talk by Murthy on April 12from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Darden’s Abbott Center Auditorium.

    On the anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13 (known locally as Founder’s Day), the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello join together to present the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals to recognize achievements of those who embrace endeavors in which Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president, excelled and held in high regard. These medals are the highest external honors bestowed by the University of Virginia, which grants no honorary degrees.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals recognize the exemplary contributions of recipients to the endeavors in which Jefferson – the author of the Declaration of Independence, the third U.S. president and the founder of the University of Virginia – excelled and held in high regard.

“This year’s medal recipients represent a remarkably broad range of human endeavor. The common denominator is that all of them have ascended to significantly high levels of achievement in their respective fields,” said UVA President Teresa Sullivan.

The medals are the highest external honors bestowed by the University, which grants no honorary degrees. The awards are presented annually on Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, by the president of the University and the president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the independent, nonprofit organization that owns and operates his home, Monticello. April 13 is known locally as Founders Day, celebrating Jefferson and his founding of UVA in Charlottesville in 1819.

“This year’s medalists embody Jefferson’s vision of global citizenship and his relentless dedication to human progress and innovation,” said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

Bowman and Sullivan will present the medals, struck for the occasion, to the recipients at a luncheon in in the Dome Room of the Jefferson-designed Rotunda at UVA. The medalists in Architecture, Law, Citizen Leadership and Global Innovation will each give a free public lecture at UVA, and will be honored at a formal dinner at Monticello.

The complete schedule of events for Founder’s Day can be found here.

The Citizen Leadership medalist, Alice Waters, will also be the featured keynote speaker at Monticello’s commemoration of Jefferson’s 274th birthday on April 13 at 10 a.m. on the West Lawn of Monticello. The celebration is free and open to the public. The ceremony will be live streamed online here.

This year’s medalists join a distinguished roster of past winners that includes architects Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, I.M. Pei, Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito and Zaha Hadid; seven former and current U.S. Supreme Court justices; former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher; Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund; Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America; Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve; former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; and several former and current U.S. senators and representatives, including John Lewis, John Warner, George Mitchell, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Sam Nunn and James H. Webb Jr.

About The Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, the foundation seeks to engage a national and global audience in a dialogue with Jefferson’s ideas. Monticello is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a United Nations World Heritage Site. As a private, nonprofit organization, the foundation’s regular operating budget does not receive ongoing government support to fund its twofold mission of preservation and education. About 440,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit Monticello.org.

About the University of Virginia

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia sustains the ideal of developing, through education, leaders who are well-prepared to help shape the future of the nation and the world. The University is public, while nourished by the strong support of its alumni. It is also selective; the students who come here have been chosen because they show the exceptional promise Jefferson envisioned.