As promised, I have the weekly report about UVA’s March Madness: Gentlemen’s Edition. When we first proposed the idea, it was going to be a week-long event. Each day we planned on moving to the next round. The event would culminate with the announcement of “Top Gentleman” on March 20, 2010. Well, we are now ending week two of the competition. The response has been unbelievable. Each round gets more attention and more competitive. We never could have imaged how successful our version of March Madness would be, nor could we imagine the enthusiasm from the student body.
I reported last week that we asked for nominations to be sent in about Gentlemen at UVA. We received over 70 nominations accompanied by the most encouraging stories about real life gentlemen at UVA.
On Monday, we announced the Top 16 Gentlemen and presented the next round of voting. For round two, students based their votes on the stories that were sent in with the nominations. We reached the “Elite 8” after more than 200 people voted for their favorites. I received emails from several young women thanking NeW for bringing attention to these gentlemen, because they had no idea true gentlemen even existed on Grounds.
On Thursday, we revealed the Elite 8 and opened up the voting. I just peeked at the submissions, and we already have over 300 votes and several more hours of voting. For this round, we asked each gentleman to answer the following question:
“What does ‘being a gentleman’ mean to you?”
Some of my favorite responses include the following:
“I’m not entirely convinced that this applies to me, but I generally think of a gentleman as somebody who wants to make sure that everyone around him is comfortable and at ease, but not in a way that brings attention to the fact that he is doing so. I think that to be a gentleman somebody needs to be polite and curteous always, no matter how his day has been and whatever mood he is in. He should want to do what is right not to be praised or rewarded but simply because it is the right thing to do”
“Being a gentleman is, above all else, honoring your word and respecting others–that is, being chivalrous. Everything else a gentleman says and does follows this simple credo. Even something as simple as opening doors for a lady or paying for her meal stem from the respect that a woman is due as an individual. Whether a stranger or close friend or family member, each person is due respect and a gentleman would be remiss if he did not give it to them. If chivalry sounds old-fashioned, I say let it. Some say that it is dead, that the present is no time for out-dated beliefs, that this world is cut-throat and every man should be for himself and to hell with everyone else. I say that as long as there is one true gentleman left, chivalry will survive. The day chivalry dies, I go with it.”
Don’t these gentlemen sound just wonderful?
We’ll move to the Final 4 tomorrow afternoon. I’d like to ask our faithful blog readers to send suggestions for what we should ask the men for the next round of voting. What type of question would you like these gentlemen to answer so we can truly determine who is the Top Gentleman at UVA?