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Thanks to $50M gift, UVA invests in new institute of democracy

The UVA Rotunda
The UVA Rotunda(WVIR)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 8:34 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia is investing $100 million in a new institute of democracy thanks to a $50 million gift from alumni Martha and Bruce Karsh.

“What the institute will allow us to do is to accelerate collaboration across grounds that all added, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts, focusing on the work that we can do collectively that single institution couldn’t do alone,” Melody Barnes, the executive director of the Karsh Institute of Democracy, said.

This new effort is UVA’s way of underlining democratic ideals. This motivation was partially due to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The university has already executed exercises similar to those that will be held at the institution.

“I think that this will have a ripple effect across American society, at least I hope so,” Barnes said.

The Karsh’s $50 million donation will contribute to the construction of the institute. Located on the Emmett-Ivy Corridor, it will be next to the new Data Science school and other coming developments to encourage engagement from the community.

“Democracy isn’t guaranteed. it requires each of us, every day, to engage, to think about our engagement in it,” said Barnes.

This institute is evidently an investment as a physical site, but also an investment in terms of where and how democracy will further.

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