Skip links

Center for Politics Marks 25 Years, Raises $1.2 million, at Anniversary Weekend

Hundreds of Center for Politics at UVA alumni, students, staff and friends convened on Grounds to celebrate twenty-five academic years of youth civics education, election analysis, international programming, research and teaching on April 5 and 6 with a weekend of events that raised $1.2 million towards the Center’s future expanded home at Montesano.

The weekend kicked off with a panel featuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly, and the Center’s managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball Kyle Kondik for a robust discussion about the role of Artificial Intelligence in the 2024 election hosted by longtime media leader and president of the Washington AI Network Tammy Haddad. Center for Politics Intern Emily Horn introduced the panel, discussing how the Center’s AI in Politics had successfully brought SB487, which regulates state implementation of Artificial Intelligence, through the Virginia House and Senate. The bill was signed by Governor Youngkin on April 8.

On Friday evening, the Center joined the UVA Chamber Singers, under the direction of Professor Michael Slon, for a concert of presidential campaign songs through the ages, beginning with George Washington’s “Hail, Columbia,” and culminating with Gerald Ford’s “I’m Feeling Good About America.” The event was hosted by Center for Politics Scholar Tara Setmayer and featured introductions and remarks from Secretary Raffensperger, Larry J. Sabato, Center alumnus and Cook Political Report Senior Editor Dave Wasserman. In an unforgettable moment, newly-appointed Center for Politics Professor of Practice Martin Luther King, III spoke about his father’s remarks in Old Cabell Hall more than 60 years prior, and joined the Chamber Singers for a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song known as the “Black National Anthem” and often used in the Civil Rights Era.

Saturday morning kicked off with an open house featuring the different programs and initiatives of the Center presented by staff and students, including the Center’s Crystal Ball, the Youth Leadership Initiative, the Global Perspectives on Democracy Program, research into the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and a display of some of the nation’s founding documents hosted by Seth Kaller. 

Following the open house, Larry Sabato was joined by UVA President Jim Ryan, Rector Robert Hardie, Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds, Center Board Chair Sabra Purtill, and other University leadership for a ceremonial groundbreaking on the Center’s future expanded home. After lunch and remarks from Professor King, University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Alex Theodoridis, the first staff member hired at the Center, moderated a Crystal Ball panel, presented by Dominion Energy, about the 2024 election featuring Center for Politics Scholars Paul Begala (CNN) and Jamelle Bouie (New York Times), NBC’s Chuck Todd, former Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and strategist and publisher of The Bulwark Sarah Longwell. 

On Saturday evening, Center for Politics Board Member, former New York Giants running back and WFAN host Tiki Barber served as master of ceremonies for a gala dinner featuring remarks from Professors of Practice Liz Cheney and Martin Luther King, III and former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder. At the dinner, event co-chairs Richard Gordon and Mike Miller announced the Center’s $1.2 million in funds raised and discussed future plans for strengthening the Center’s programs and operations for the Center’s next 25 years. Center for Politics Interns also presented Professor Sabato with a time capsule to be opened 25 years from now for the Center’s 50th anniversary.

During the week, the Center raised more than $90,000 in a digital fundraising campaign to celebrate the 25th anniversary milestone. 

Photo galleries from the weekend’s events are below. 

How Artificial Intelligence May Impact the 2024 Election

Political Campaign Songs Through the Ages: A Concert with the UVA Chamber Singers

Open House, Groundbreaking and Crystal Ball Panel

25th Anniversary Gala Dinner

Skip to content