The Jefferson Literary and Debating Society was founded on July 14, 1825, by sixteen disgruntled members of the now-defunct Patrick Henry Society in Room 7, West Lawn.
Selections from our Archives
Officers, Committee Chairs & Recognition Recipients List
Officers By Name | Officers by Year | Award Recipients and Debaters by Year
One of the ongoing projects of the Historical Committee is the collection
of information regarding officers, committee chairs and recognition
recipients. The online data will be updated as we continue our research.
Moomaw Oratorical Contest - Winners Since 1948
Established in 1948 through the generosity of Mr. Benjamin C. Moomaw
(MED 1899), the Society annually hosts the Oratorical Contest. Traditionally
held in the Spring, the Contest recognizes the best speaker at the
University and awards him or her a $500 scholarship. You can learn more
Medal from 1857 - Front | Back | Source
Scans of a medal awarded by the society. Images come from Mr. John
M. Sallay, a private collector of American medals. Medals were given
on various occasions including at the annual contest for the “Best
Debater at the University.” Mr. Sallay currently owns two
such “award medals.” Another resides with the University of
Virginia’s Special Collections Department in the library
Invitation from 1877- Press Release
Scans of the invitation which marked a final celebration of The Jefferson Literary Society on Tuesday, June 26th 1877 at 8:30 P.M.