Raven Society

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Range room of Edgar Allan Poe at the University of Virginia, restored and maintained by the Raven Society.

The Raven Society is an honor society at the University of Virginia. Founded in 1904 by University student William McCully James,[1] and named in honor of the famous poem by Edgar Allan Poe (who attended UVa in 1826). According to its constitution, one of the Raven Society's main goals is "to bring together the best men in the various departments of the university for mutual acquaintance and for cooperation in their efforts to protect the honor and dignity of the university."[2] In addition to presenting annual Raven Fellowships,[3] the society recognizes students, professors, administrators, and alumni for their "scholarly pursuits and their dedication to University ideals" with the Raven Award; the Award presentation had its beginning in 1933.[4] The Society is also responsible for the upkeep of Poe's living quarters, 13 West Range.[5]

The Raven Society has been active in commemorating Poe's life, beginning with a celebration of his centenary in 1909.[6] At this time, the Society first opened Poe's preserved room at 13 West Range, which they had furnished with "a settee from the Allan home in Richmond" as well as "a real raven, stuffed, [which] looked down from a coign of the room."[7] The Raven Society also celebrated Poe's bicentenary in 2009 by laying three roses and a drink of cognac in 13 West Range.

Notable members of the Raven Society have included founder and UVa Law professor Raleigh C. Minor,[8] University president Frank Hereford,[9] former Alumni Association directors J. Malcolm "Mack" Luck[10] and Gilbert J. Sullivan, University professors Bascom S. Deaver[11] and Ernest Mead,[12] and UVa and Baltimore Colts football player Gary Cuozzo.[13]

Raven Award recipients[edit]

  • John Lloyd Newcomb, UVa president (1933 recipient)[4]
  • Fenton Allen Gentryt (1934)[4]
  • Harry Clemons, UVa librarian (1935)
  • Carrington Harrison, M.D. (1912-1974), University Class President (1936)
  • Bill Crutchfield, founder, Crutchfield Corporation
  • Dr. Annette Gibbs
  • Dr. Stewart D. Roberson
  • Dean Patricia Lampkin
  • David Carr, former President, Virginia Athletics Foundation, Thomas Jefferson Society, and UVa Alumni Association
  • Colgate Darden, UVa president[14]
  • Dr. Howard Kutchai, Dept of Physiology
  • Dr. Nicole Hurd, Executive Director, National College Advising Corps
  • Edward L. Ayers, former Arts & Sciences dean at UVa, and University of Richmond president
  • William H. Fishback
  • Paul M. Leggett, Managing Director, Mithril Capital Management LLC
  • John Macfarlane, Tudor Investment Corporation
  • John Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO Prudential Financial
  • David Webb, SFW Capital Partners, former Merrill Lynch Vice Chairman of Investment Banking
  • Peter Kiernan, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Chairman/CEO, former Goldman Sachs partner
  • R. David Banyard, CEO Myers Industries
  • Teresa Reynolds DiMarco, Chairman Board of Trustees, UVA 2012-present, Raven Society member, CEO First Health Services Corp. 1996-2006, Vice President Trigon Blue Cross Blue Sheild 1981-1996


  1. ^ Wolcott, Dave (2004-03-11). "Raven Society Celebrates Centennial Anniversary". Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  2. ^ "Constitution of the Raven Society of the University of Virginia" (pdf). Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  3. ^ Jacob, Katie (January 2004). "Looking back at years of Bananas, Ravens". Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  4. ^ a b c "History of the Raven Society". Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  5. ^ Alderman, Edwin A.; Joel Chandler Harris (1907). Library of Southern Literature. Martin and Hoyt. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  6. ^ "Raven Society Celebrates: Poe Anniversary is Appropriately Observed at University of Virginia" (PDF). New York Times. 1909-01-19. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  7. ^ Bruce, Philip Alexander (1922). History of the University of Virginia, 1819-1919: The Lengthening Shadow of One Man. V. pp. 357–8. 
  8. ^ Dabney, Virginius (1981). Mr. Jefferson's University: A History. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-8139-0904-X. 
  9. ^ Dabney, 598.
  10. ^ Dabney, 122
  11. ^ "Summary of Accomplishments: Bascom S. Deaver, Jr" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  12. ^ "Ernest Mead". The Daily Progress. 2014-02-16. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  13. ^ Dabney, 557
  14. ^ Dabney, 418.

External links[edit]