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A Life’s Work: Philosopher Celebrates 50 Years of Serving Students, Colleagues

Published May 8, 2015 in News

Article by: Katie McNally, UVA Today

Raised in the country outside of Bountiful, Utah, University of Virginia philosophy professor James Cargile had never been east of the Mississippi before he joined the Army in 1958. 

This spring, even as Cargile celebrates 50 years of teaching with the University, he still remembers the culture shock of his first arrival in Charlottesville as a graduate student in 1960.

“I was walking up from the train station and had walked up past the Rotunda when a Cadillac convertible pulled up with young people in formal attire. This was in the middle of the day,” Cargile said. “They got out and were pouring champagne into very fine glasses and I just stood there and stared.”

Over the last half-century, Cargile has seen great change at U.Va. His first impression of restricted privilege quickly faded as he watched the University evolve into a more inclusive and higher-reaching institution.

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