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$2,200 plus room and board during program
B. Be in residence at the University of Virginia at all times when students are in the dorms with some time off each week.
C. Assist in the daily operations of the programs - supervise students during the day, be on call certain evenings to assist students, administrative work at the Sorensen office, etc.
Bill Wood, Founding Director of U.Va.’s Sorensen Institute, Dies at 69
November 18, 2012 | Marian Anderfuren
William H. Wood, the former newspaperman who became founding director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, died Nov. 16 at home. He was 69.
The cause was complications of Alzheimer's. Wood died only weeks after he and his wife Carol had moved to Birmingham, Ala., to be near their son and his family.
Wood launched the institute, an educational and training organization for Virginia's emerging political leaders, at U.Va. in 1993. Today, more than 1,000 Virginians have graduated from the Sorensen Institute's programs. Many of the graduates, who are of all political stripes, hold elected and appointed office in Virginia, from school boards to the state legislature.
Bob Gibson, who now directs the Sorensen, said he considers Wood his role model. "Bill could listen to anyone on any side of an issue and find points of agreement or common interest with them," he said. "Behind his mild manner lurked a wonderful sense of humor that could catch people by surprise because he could deliver any message with perfect timing and a deadpan delivery."
Wood stepped down as executive director of Sorensen in 2005, and was recognized with a joint resolution by the General Assembly, commending him for his long career in journalism and his leadership of the institute. He continued to work part time until 2007 as editor of the Virginia Newsletter and director of the publications division of the University's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
A well-known and widely respected journalist, Wood had spent 26 years in the newspaper business before coming to the University - the last 10 as editorial-page editor of The Virginian-Pilot. As a reporter and editor, he covered the Virginia General Assembly for two decades.
John O. Wynne of Virginia Beach, former CEO of Landmark Communications, which owned The Pilot, and former rector of the University, said Wood's editorial philosophy was a good fit with that of Landmark Chairman Frank Batten Sr. and publisher Perry Morgan.
"All of them hated editorial pages that stuck to ideologies - they were always predictable," he said. "They thought newspapers had to do fresh thinking about issues and really inform readers. Bill absolutely did that."
Like Morgan and Batten, Wood worked hard to make sure he was being fair, Wynne said.
Wood began his interest in politics when, as a 14-year-old in Luray, Va., he handed out campaign literature for the successful 1957 campaign of Gov. J. Lindsay Almond. After graduating from Duke University, where he was an editor at the student newspaper, he went to work at the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg.
In 1970, Wood joined The Ledger-Star in Norfolk and for the next 13 years covered police, courts, city councils and the General Assembly and served a stint as sports editor. In 1981, the Ledger merged with The Virginian-Pilot and Wood became the newspapers' second ombudsman. In 1983, he was named editorial page editor.
Gerald L. Baliles, former Virginia governor who now directs U.Va.'s Miller Center, knew Wood from his days in the General Assembly. He said Wood personified civility, sought to elevate and educate, and wrote with clarity and conciseness.
"He was courteous to all, even those with whom he shared a different opinion," Baliles said. "I valued his friendship and respected his judgment." He noted, with a smile in his voice, "I still treasure his endorsement when I ran for attorney general."
Wood, a pitcher for the Duke baseball team, loved the game and especially the Dodgers, starting when they were still in Brooklyn. He played a mean game of tennis, running opponents all over the court, and was fond of beach music, doo-wop and dancing.
In 2005, Wood, then 62, received a diagnosis of a type of dementia that took aim at his speaking, reading and writing abilities. As the old Bill began to fall away, his core remained - his sweetness, his laughter, and his jitterbug wiggle.
Wood is survived by his wife; their son, Zachary Mather, and daughter-in-law, Kate Mather; three grandchildren, Will, Julia and Griffin of Birmingham; and his sister, Sally Heath, of Charlottesville.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 2 p.m. in the University of Virginia chapel. It will be followed by a reception at Carr's Hill.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in Wood's name to the Sorensen Institute, P.O. Box 400206, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4206.
Published on UVAToday on Nov. 18, 2012.
It is with a heavy heart and tears that we share the message that our dear friend and former Sorensen executive director Bill Wood passed away early this morning.
Immediate arrangements will occur in Birmingham, but there will be a service, and burial, at a later time in Charlottesville.
Congratulations to the Sorensen alumni who won on election day!
Jonathan Baliles, Richmond City Council
Kelly Carmichael Booz, Alexandria School Board
Dave Butler, Leesburg Town Council
John Taylor Chapman, Alexandria City Council
Glenn Davis, Virginia Beach City Council
Dan Edwards, Virginia Beach School Board
Kimberly Gray, Richmond City School Board
Robert Hurt, U.S. House of Representatives
Scott Rigell, U.S. House of Representatives
Dave Roberts, San Diego County Board of Supervisors
Amelia Ross-Hammond, Virginia Beach City Council
Paul Smedberg, Alexandria City Council
Leonard Tengco, Virginia Beach School Board
Justin Wilson, Alexandria City Council
Rosemary Wilson, Virginia Beach City Council
If you know of someone we missed, please let us know at email@example.com with their name and office.
Over the last generation, citizens have increasingly expressed discontent with national politics. Approval ratings for Congress are consistently low regardless of which party is in power, and many feel that the government is riddled with too much gridlock and partisan gamesmanship. Senior statesmen and women have noted that the collegiality they shared in the past with peers of differing political ideologies has disappeared in this era of polarization. The ability to discuss issues from varying points of view and then compromise on solutions appears to be fading from the American political process. Is the art of debate and compromise lost on contemporary politics in the United States? Is it possible to restore civility to Congress, and should we try? Was civility ever as dominant as current characterizations often suggest?
The Community Idea Stations and the University of Virginia Center for Politics tackle this subject through a production partnership resulting in Out of Order, a thirty-minute documentary, premiering on Thursday, October 25 at 8:30pm on WCVE PBS Richmond and WHTJ PBS Charlottesville.
This timely documentary explores the decline in civil discourse; the news media’s role in this, including the internet; partisan gridlock; vanishing commitment to reasonable compromise; declining civic engagement; and the roles of factors such as gerrymandering, filibustering, increased showboating, scandal, and cynicism. The documentary proposes some reforms that might restore what Thomas Jefferson referred to as “the most legitimate engine of government.”
Out of Order relies on interviews with prominent academics, journalists, political observers, and senior (current and former) elected officials. The production features first-hand accounts by respected statesmen and women. Out of Order interviews include Senator Mark Warner, Senator John Warner emeritus, CBS news’ Bob Schiefer, Senator Alan Simpson, and others.
More viewing times around Virginia are listed below:
WCVE Richmond PBS
October 25 8:30pm
WCVW Richmond PBS
October 26 12:00am
October 29 8:00pm
WVPT Harrisonburg PBS
October 28 4:30pm
WBRA Roanoke PBS
October 30 3:30pm
Grooming for civil discourse, public service
By Dave Redmond, October 7, 2012
Though the campaign season is closing, the coming lull is a respite, nothing more.
Democracy is renewal. One election cycle ends; another begins. Like the tides, people and issues come and go. But the need for qualified, capable leaders is constant, and it's critical to the largely excellent function of government and industry in Hampton Roads and throughout the commonwealth.
For that, as much as any other institution, Virginians should support the Thomas C. Sorensen Institute For Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, which is recruiting the next rising political class in Virginia and, as always, searching for the financial means to support it.
The Sorensen Institute is cosponsoring the only televised debate between Rep. Robert Hurt and challenger John Douglass. It will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.
Moderator Bob Gibson, executive director of the Sorensen Institute, will be joined on the panel questioning the candidates by Sharon Gregory, news anchor, NBC29 in Charlottesville; Len Stevens, news anchor, WSET-TV in Lynchburg, and Tiffany Holland, reporter, Danville Register & Bee.
The event will be free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Sorensen Institute, the Danville Register & Bee, NBC29 and WSET-TV.
The live television broadcast is 7-8 p.m. on NBC29 and WSET-TV.
The 2012 Political Leaders Program class visited Southwest Virginia last weekend, where they attended sessions on "Energy and Public Policy in Virginia" and "Heathcare Issues in Southwest Virginia." Beyond the classroom, they descended 3,000 feet into the McClure deep mine and attended Bristol's annual Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival.
You can view larger versions of these photos by choosing the fullscreen icon in the bottom right, or by clicking the Flickr logo to view the set on Flickr.
The Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership are proud to cosponsor an informational forum on uranium mining in Virginia to be held Oct. 2 at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.
The forum will feature four panelists, two each on either side of uranium mining issues, and will be free and open to the public from 7 to 8:30 p.m. that Tuesday evening.
Panelists will include Patrick M. Wales, project manager of Virginia Uranium Inc.; Stephen S. Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis in George Mason University's School of Public Policy; Jay Poole, spokesman for the Alliance for Progress in Southern Virginia; and Bob Burnley, an advisor to the Alliance for Progress in Southern Virginia.
Moderator of the forum is Bob Gibson, executive director of the Sorensen Institute and a 34-year veteran political writer from Charlottesville.
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