By Matt West
Chair, Honor Committee
On behalf of the University of Virginia Honor Committee, it is my pleasure to welcome you and your daughter or son to the University. This truly is an exceptional place to pursue an education. At UVA, this education extends well beyond the confines of the classroom. By signing his or her application for admission, your student has already become a part of the University’s Community of Trust.
Each member of the Community of Trust has committed to live a life of integrity, and specifically never to lie, cheat, or steal. Students steward the system not only by taking this pledge; they also are solely responsible for its administration. Students are entrusted with exclusive control of the Honor Committee’s Constitution, and it is thus students who have set and continually renew the system’s high standards.
The hallmark of these standards has not changed in more than 170 years: If a student’s peers ﬁnd him or her guilty of committing an Honor offense, the consequence is permanent dismissal from the University. While living up to these high standards is certainly not easy, it was never intended to be – it is through the difficulty of doing what is right that generation after generation of students have discovered the meaning and value of living with honor.
The system also affords unique, meaningful beneﬁts to students. Every UVA student is assumed to be honorable, and consequently, both a student’s word and work are presumed trustworthy in our community. Our Honor System typiﬁes the chosen ideal and common endeavor of our institution: the pursuit of the truth.
Unsurprisingly, many alumni believe that the Honor System is the greatest gift they have left current students. As an incoming student, your daughter or son is one of the newest stewards of a proud and enduring community. Since you are members of this community as well, it is important that both you and your student understand the Honor System. The Honor Committee will present an introduction to the system during Summer Orientation to incoming students, and when they arrive on Grounds in August, they will receive more comprehensive information about the Honor System.
Please feel free to stop by the Honor Committee ofﬁces on the fourth ﬂoor of Newcomb Hall and chat with us at any time. Extensive information about the system is also available on the Honor website. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Honor Committee by phone at 434.924.7602.
Welcome to the University!