The emergency call issued by the American Red Cross earlier this year was of a sort all too common: Donations of platelets were needed, and desperately. But a new discovery from the University of Virginia School of Medicine may be the key to stopping shortages of these vital blood-clotting cells, cells that can represent the difference between life and death.

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Twelve graduate students at the University of Virginia have been selected to receive Jefferson Fellowships and eight graduate students from six universities have been selected to receive National Fellowships. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation selected all 20 recipients based on their demonstrated record of academic achievement and their commitment to becoming the next generation of outstanding teachers, researchers, public servants and business leaders.

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Final Exercises 2017 was built of moments that graduates and their parents will carry with them forever. The University of Virginia conferred 6,698 degrees over two joyous days.

Watch the video above for a look back at the weekend and see a comprehensive index of photos, videos and stories on the Final Exercises 2017 aggregation page. 

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The track record for new sports leagues is hit-or-miss. A few, like the American Football League, make it. Most – recall, if you can, the United States Football League or the XFL – don’t.

Sports super-agent Don Yee, a 1987 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, thinks he has an idea that can beat the odds.

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In 1665, the inventor of the pendulum clock, Christiaan Huygens, noticed that two of his clocks hung on the same wall would eventually sync up, so that their pendulums swung in opposite directions in perfect time. This “insensible motion,” he thought, might be put to use so that clocks would regulate each other.

Turns out important cells in our guts already had that figured out.

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Six University of Virginia students have received grants from the University Award for Projects in the Arts program, allowing them to follow their artistic muses this summer.

Modeled on UVA’s successful Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards, the arts awards give selected students up to $3,000 for projects that expand their creative expression and showcase artistic accomplishments.

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Effective organizations require “engaged citizens to provide structural continuity,” said Bryanna F. Miller, a student member of the award committee that on Friday presented this year’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards at the University of Virginia’s Valedictory Exercises.

“The vital work that sustains this university then requires an Alysa M. Triplett, who works tirelessly to help the organization become stronger and stronger,” Miller said in announcing the award to a large audience at John Paul Jones Arena.

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In his Valedictory address at the John Paul Jones Arena, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told University of Virginia graduates that they would face more failure than success in their lives, but that learning from those failures would help them attain success.

“If you learn how to use the incredibly valuable lessons that failure offers you to further your goals and dreams, then, and only then, your life will end up being a true success,” he said.

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After the members of the University of Virginia’s Class of 2017 walk the Lawn this weekend, they’ll take their education and experience into the next chapter of their lives. Whether it’s medical or graduate school, working in New York City or overseas, Wahoos are well-prepared to make a positive impact on the world.

Watch the video above for a sample of soon-to-be alumni excitedly describing their coming pursuits in health care, technology, teaching, public service and more.

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A lot has changed in the four years since the Class of 2017 arrived at the University of Virginia. Jefferson’s Rotunda has been restored and readied to face another century, University researchers have forever changed the field of medicine with new discoveries about the brain, and legions of UVA graduates have taken on mantles of leadership.

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Golara Haghtalab was 21 and in her final year of architecture school in Iran when her family decided to move to the United States, ultimately settling in Charlottesville.

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Gloria Felicia’s acceptance letter to the University of Virginia was, as she puts it below, a dream come true.

At the time, Felicia – nicknamed “Glo” for her bright, bubbly personality – had finished an associate’s degree at Edmonds Community College, near Seattle. She had moved there from her hometown of Jakarta, Indonesia, determined to eventually transfer into UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce.

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Robert S. Mueller III, a 1973 alum of the University of Virginia School of Law and the longest-serving FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover, has been appointed as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election and ties to the Donald Trump campaign. 

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This weekend, more than 6,500 University of Virginia students will walk the Lawn one last time before dispersing to jobs and graduate schools around the country.

Their best allies in the search for that critical first job? The hundreds of thousands of alumni who have walked the Lawn before them.

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Twelve University of Virginia scholars will pursue their work on foreign shores with the help of Fulbright Scholarships this year.

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board offered the grants to the UVA alumni and graduate students, who will be among 1,900 U.S. citizens – selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential – who will travel abroad for the 2017-18 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

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The Jefferson Scholars Foundation has selected 36 high school seniors to join the Jefferson Scholars Class of 2021. The merit-based scholarships cover the full cost of attending UVA for four years of study. Recipients take part in a number of enrichment programs, including a two-week summer leadership development conference, team-building workshops, a travel studies program and career networking opportunities.

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Four years – and little else – separate these two sisters.

This Sunday, Tonyette White will pass the baton to her younger sister, Shontell, when they both walk the Lawn as graduates of the University of Virginia. The elder sister is earning a Master of Education degree in counselor education from the Curry School of Education. Shontell will enter that program in August; for now, she is earning a B.A. in sociology from the College of Arts & Sciences and a B.S. in education, youth and social innovation from the Curry School.

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