A Little History To Hold

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Just last week, I had the honor of presenting at the University of Virginia. UVA is close to my heart for a variety of reasons. It’s a top academic institution, but before that, I knew UVA to be the birthplace of my college fraternity, Kappa Sigma.

UVA was the brainchild of a guy named Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson’s influence still runs deep in Charlottesville and the structures and architecture that still stand are exactly the way Jefferson envisioned. The campus and surrounding area are so historical and I wished I could bring a little of that tradition back home. Well, I got that opportunity.

Screen shot 2015-11-03 at 1.55.43 PMAfter my keynote, I was presented with a Jefferson Cup. I didn’t realize the awesomeness of this gift until I got home and started doing a little research into the history of the cups.

Jefferson inherited two large silver cups from his mentor. Instead of keeping the cups in their original state, Jefferson had the silver melted down and constructed into eight smaller cups. Of the original eight, seven were then inherited by Jefferson’s grandchildren while the eighth went to his physician. Today, the original cups remain, but the tradition has been extended past Jefferson’s ancestry.

Today, the cups, now in pewter, are the exact specifications Jefferson commissioned from his silversmith. The gift from the dean of UVA’s nursing school, Dr. Dorrie Fontaine, is now one of my favorite gifts ever!

Once I learned about the rich history of the cups, I decided to Christen the cup properly…with a taste of one of Scotland’s most popular beverages. Much like with a tea meditation, I spent a few moments reflecting on how the design and tradition has been carried down for 200 years. It’s an honor to receive this gift and, what’s more, it gave me pause to really consider how lucky I am to get to live this life. Thank you, UVA and the Charlottesville community, for such an awesome experience!

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