John A. Blackburn
John A. Blackburn served as the Dean of Admissions at the University of Virginia for 24 years from 1985 to 2009. Dean Blackburn dedicated three decades of his life to the admissions process at the University of Virginia, beginning his career at the University as Associate Dean of Admissions in 1979. His legacy will be remembered though his passionate, persistent and effective work of diversifying the student body of the University through his holistic philosophy. Dean Blackburn opened doors of the University to all qualified students, regardless of race, gender or income; he helped pave the way to a better life for thousands of minority and low-income students in turn creating a diverse student population creating new opportunities for new interactions and perspectives for all students. Esteemed not only by students, but also by his colleagues Dean Blackburn received the Thomas Jefferson Award in 2008, the highest honor the University bestows upon a member of its community.