The original vision

When Jefferson designed the Lawn, interspersing student rooms between facutly homes, and directing that classes be taught in faculty living rooms, he also laid the foundation for a unique student-faculty relationship.

Ernest “Boots” Mead

For decades, no professor did more to mentor students outside the classroom than Mr. Mead, engaging them in thoughtful conversation during walks through the gardens, or inviting them for tea at the Colonnade Club, or for dinner at his home.

Passing the torch

Since 2002, the Mead Endowment has been inviting faculty to “Walk in the footsteps of Boots,” by sponsoring creative projects that allow them to engage with students in meaningful and memorable ways.

Featured Projects


Darden women participate in a TED conference in Washington, DC.


Empty Cups, a devised play about life, love, and finding your path ...

Reflections from Prison

Gregory Fairchild of the Darden School is helping a group of students explore ...

Bee School

"... part academic pursuit and part social activity, honoring the University's unique ...