Cornerstone Summer Institute


The Cornerstone Summer Institute provides rising high school sophomores and juniors with the opportunity to engage in historical investigation, archaeological excavation, and community engagement in order to learn and develop thinking skills that will prepare them for success in college and beyond.

 Designed by members of the University of Virginia President’s Commission on Slavery and the University, the institute focuses on historical research, archaeological excavation, and community engagement in Charlottesville, Virginia. Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors (based upon grade status for the coming school year) explore the early history of the University by getting hands-on experience with archival records, by rolling up their sleeves as they work on an archaeological dig, and by learning–through community service–how the U.Va. story had an impact on the surrounding community. Students, in addition to collegiate skill-building, get the full U.Va. experience–living in dorms, eating in dining halls, meeting new friends, and exploring the Jefferson-designed school.
Guided by top faculty and a team of U.Va. students, participants explore both the University’s past and the modern-day legacies of slavery. The institute provides opportunities for hands-on experience with original Jefferson materials, an archaeological dig in an area where enslaved people lived and worked, and engagement with the larger Charlottesville community through participation in a service project. Applications are available annually in March and are accepted on a rolling basis until the camp is full.
The inaugural camp ran from June 26 to July 1, 2016. To learn about the 2016 camp, please read this CSI post.
The 2017 camp is scheduled for June 25-June 30, 2017.

Click here for the Counselor application.

Click here for the Participant application.