The University of Virginia’s Center for Real Estate and the Built Environment today announced a gift of $5 million to establish the Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation Endowment to support the future success of the Center.
By enhancing existing commercial real estate-oriented academic programming, research, and engagement efforts across UVA, the gift aims to create a variety of high-impact initiatives and activities such as scholarships, funded research, and community-based programs.
Center Director and McIntire Professor Drew Sanderford says the transformative gift adds substantially to the Center’s endowment: “It will expand the capacity of the Center to advance its mission to serve students, faculty, and alumni partners across Grounds interested in real estate and the built environment. The Ruffin Foundation is a unique and wonderful supporter of the University, and the Center is humbled to be aligned with its priorities and efforts to help UVA become a preeminent institution that is both great and good. It is an honor and privilege to receive this gift from the Ruffin Foundation!”
Established in New York in 1966, the Ruffin Foundation has been a loyal supporter of the University for many years. Their dedication includes gifts directed toward the formation of the College Foundation of the University of Virginia, the creation of the Ruffin Gallery, the Ruffin Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, and the Distinguished Professorship in Studio Art. Peter Ruffin, who earned his undergraduate degree from UVA in the mid-1920s, was a sponsor trustee of the Darden Graduate School of Business from 1964 until 1973 and a trustee emeritus until his passing in 1980. Peter and Adeline Ruffin also served as charter members of the Lawn Society, which was established in 1975 to recognize the University’s leading benefactors.
Managing Trustee of the Ruffin Foundation, Brian McAnaney (A&S ’68), an emeritus trustee of the College Foundation, was moved to direct the gift to UVA’s Center for Real Estate and the Built Environment, as the pan-University, interdisciplinary nature of the Center and its programming relies on the participation of various departments in the College, the Commerce School, the Law School, the Architecture School, and other schools.
“This is something that spans the whole University—and it’s quite exciting to meld all these disciplines together and create a unique real estate experience for UVA students,” says McAnaney, explaining that the gift provides “a natural progression” of the Ruffin Foundation’s goals. “Our current pledge [the art studio at the College] was coming to an end, and we were looking for a new opportunity to invest in the University; as Mr. Ruffin was a graduate and quite a successful developer in New York City, we saw an opportunity to link his name at UVA with real estate.”
“It seemed like the perfect culmination of our efforts to make sure that the Ruffin Foundation honored his legacy,” notes McAnaney. “We’re very pleased to be involved.”
About UVA’s Center for Real Estate and the Built Environment
Established in 2021 and administrated by the McIntire School of Commerce, the Center is a pan-University organization working in service of students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners across Grounds. The mission of the Center is to enhance the quality of the built environment and our understanding of its influence on all aspects of our lives through discovery and debate relating to the art and science of real estate.