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Dibba McConnell

Tell us a few things about yourself (family, job, things that bring you joy).

I am a busy, comfortable and happy woman. I live in a small house on tree farm with my cat and dogs. I describe myself as a naturalist striving to promote native Virginia plants and animals.

What did you do when you were a student at UVA?

I loved my undergraduate studies as I enrolled in the Secondary Math curriculum and did student teaching at Albemarle High School. I took courses in the College, the Engineering School, and the Education School. I was the only female in most of my classes but was always treated with respect and challenged in the best way by my professors and classmates. I was fortunate to have had a very broad liberal arts curriculum including math, psychology, economics, computer languages and English as well as education courses. I earned my PE credit by taking the absolute best health class imaginable. I am convinced that I had a much better education at UVA than I had had elsewhere.

Is there something you learned at UVA that you apply to your life now?

I have had a wonderful professional career as a secondary mathematics teacher, a psychology assistant and a school administrator. I consider my UVA experience to have been significant throughout my time as an educator. Honor, sportsmanship, empathy, character and respect have been guiding principles throughout my time as an educator. I am very grateful for my time at UVA as a woman, student and participant from the 1960s until now! UVA has also had a profound effect on my family. My daughter earned a BA in 1993 and worked as a hospital administrator at UVA. My son is currently a stroke neurologist at UVA and lives in Charlottesville with his family. He was born at UVA Hospital as were all four of my grandchildren.

Tell us a favorite UVA memory.

My recent involvement in the 1969 50th Reunion was a delightful experience and surprise. My former husband and father of my children was extremely helpful in both the planning and execution of the weekend event. We spent the weekend reconnecting with many former classmates. As a result, he and I have resumed our relationship after 28 years apart!