Nominators called Fontaine’s commitment to and passion for diversity “manifold,” citing her advocacy of nursing faculty at traditionally African-American Norfolk State University, her warm support of UVA’s LGBT community, and her "zero tolerance for intolerance".
“Dean Fontaine’s delight in people of disparate backgrounds is palpable,” the nominators wrote, and she “demonstrates by example,” and “moves easily across groups of varying socioeconomic positions, religions, races, sexual orientations, ages, nationalities and cultures."
The nominators also cited her fierce and immediate support of President Teresa Sullivan in 2012 when she stood on the Rotunda steps with other faculty, students and administrators in protest of her firing.
“As a senior administrator, subject to potential backlash from the university community and the Board of Visitors, she spoke at some personal and professional risk,” the nominators wrote. But “she spoke to the power of many voices standing for justice, thereby giving example and perhaps permission for others to speak, too.” >>
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