University of Virginia Magazine

November 1895



The first cruel hurt of the wound has worn off, and our eyes are
beginning to get accustomed to the sight of the bared and blackened walls
and lonely pillars. We (and this is not the editorial we) are even able to
cross the Lawn without looking up to see the old friend that waved
its hands in the wind and, with a kindly smile on its broad face, pointed
the flight of the hours. Each one of us has set apart a corner in his heart
for memories of the dear old Rotunda and those days that centered around
it--and that corner will ever be sacred.

But, mingled with joy that the sound of the workman's tools
rebuilding brings to our hears, is a grief as bitter as death, that the cloud
of uncertainty should rest upon the future of out beloved institution. It
seemed on that fatal Sunday, when our alma mater became our Mater
Dolorosa, that before another day had passed Virginia's people would rise
and declare with a universal voice: "Let her stand forth from the ashes
in greater glory," and say it, not with soft words and mournful sighs, but
with the ringing voice and flashing eye that tell of a determination that
the world has honored.

But now we have to face the possibility of the refusal of an appropri-
ation by the Legislature--and not that alone, but the inactivity of a large
part of the State, adds a gloom to that prospect.

Our faculty has shown an energy and determination worthy of the
greatest praise, and should their efforts be ably seconded, there can be no
doubt of the future for our University. To us, individually, this period
cannot seem any other than an interregnum, coming to close a glorious
record, and to usher in an era of usefulness on a yet broader and freer plane.

Some objections have been offered to the proposed use of the restored
Rotunda for library purposes, but to us that seems the right and proper
plan. We loved to consider the Rotunda, especially of all the University,
a monument to its founder, and what more proper than that the new
Rotunda should be a monument both to the founder and to its former

self. How much more fit then that it should stand alone, in silent
grandeur, free from the wild rush of the various classes, and the destruc-
tive clasp-knife of the Academ. Practically, too, it is manifestly impossi-
ble to have enough lecture rooms in the Rotunda to accommodate all the
academic classes, hence the wisdom of the new modern building as

Those students who have gone away will remember just as well the
old lecture rooms if they are not rebuilt; those who are here now will
soon be gone; and those who are yet to come will appreciate large, well-
ventilated rooms, with comfortable seats, much more. A little sentiment
should not be allowed to stand in the way of a necessary and permanent