In 1836, the Board of Visitors made civil engineering a formal course of study at the University of Virginia. In doing so, it began what would evolve into the first engineering school in the south and the first in a comprehensive university. This early initiative grew from two faculty members and some 50 students who met in the Rotunda into the Engineering School of today with 10 undergraduate and graduate programs, four off-Grounds and collaborative programs and eight minors. There are 2,400 undergraduates, 139 faculty and 616 graduates involved in the Engineering School today.

In commemoration of this 175th anniversary, the Engineering School created a publication on the history of the School. In conjunction with other schools at the University, a series of seminars will be offered in the spring 2012 semester to highlight the fundamental role of engineering in the twenty-first century. The series will focus on four representative areas: Engineering and Medicine, Engineering and Business, Engineering and Arts & Humanities, and Engineering and Politics & Public Policy.