Valerie H. Gregory Impact Award
Office of Admissions
Valerie Gregory served as Associate Dean of Admission at UVA for over 20 years. In this role, she directly contributed to impressive gains in minority student enrollment at UVA. Valerie Gregory is recognized as integral to the rising number of entering first-generation students at the University, which increased 58% between 2015 and 2020.
She worked tirelessly to connect prospective students of color, veteran students, LGBTQ+ students, students from first-generation and low-income families, prospective students’ families, and underrepresented alumni. The results from her work have transformed the UVA student body. For example, the class of 2020 is the most diverse in the University’s history, with record numbers Black and Latinx students. Furthermore, the University’s elite retention rate of underrepresented students is due in great part to Valerie Gregory’s warmth and mentorship. Valerie Gregory also created and managed institutional partnerships with education organizations such as QuestBridge and The Posse Foundation that are devoted to boosting underrepresented students’ access to higher education. These organizations are critical to the increase in Latinx student numbers at the University.
In 2005. Gregory co-chaired the Culture of Diversity Committee that is described as “a key component” of a University-wide Commission on Diversity and Equity convened by then-President John T. Casteen III. The commission led to a series of important reforms, including the establishment of a chief diversity officer for the University. Community members agree that without Valerie’s quiet-yet-forceful leadership, they would have accomplished far less.
The Valerie Gregory Impact Award seeks to identify a community member that has gone above and beyond the call of duty for the Latinx community at UVA and/or Charlottesville, whether as a member of the community itself or as an ally. This award is distinct that its recognition is only provided for clearly extraordinary efforts to serve the Latinx community at UVA and/or Charlottesville community at large. This award has no specific cycle; rather it is intended for extraordinary candidates if and when Bolivar Network Executive Board deems they are qualified.