Homage to Honorable David Gies, and, of course, to the lovely Janna

From David Breneman and Donna Plasket

Donna and I have cherished our friendship with David and Janna, which dates back to our arrival at UVA in 1995.  Although we were in different parts of the University, we became good friends rapidly, as David has a way of seeking people out and befriending them.

He helped Donna immensely in the early days of establishing the Bachelor in Interdisciplinary Studies program, helping to bridge the potential divide with the College.  He also became the champion of Semester at Sea, and invited us to serve as faculty on the Fall 2010 trip, an enormous pleasure and privilege.

We also traveled together for a week in our favorite city, Barcelona and environs, introducing us to the finest restaurants, sights, wines, museums, wines, nearby small towns, and wines.

His love of pictures of himself with celebrities has given us numerous opportunities to chide him for his strange compulsion.  In a short three-day visit to The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, FL, he managed to get himself in more pictures with celebrity speakers than we have in our more than three years here.

We have loved following the movement of David and Janna from one house to their now fabulous apartment, and their enthusiasm for the Paramount Theater.  We also appreciated his faculty leadership on behalf of Terry Sullivan when she was being attacked by the Board of Trustees.  And without David’s leadership of the Faculty Club, that organization would not have invested in such fine wines. (Does a theme begin to emerge?).  A man of wines, travel, the arts, and celebrities, not to mention his superb scholarship, which is beyond our ken, so will leave comments on that area to others.

We are delighted that the four of us will move toward retirement together so that we may continue to enjoy many lovely and lively times and wines together.

David and Donna                                                                                        January 2018