UVA Darden School Alumnus Gary Jones (MBA `74) Receives Prestigious Charles C. Abbott Award

29 May 2014

By Abena Foreman-Trice

Gary Jones, a 1974 graduate of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, has received the Charles C. Abbott Award — the highest honor Darden bestows its alumni. Darden Dean Robert F. Bruner announced the award during the State of the School program, held as part of the 2014 Darden Alumni Reunion.

The annual award recognizes Darden alumni for their exceptional and lasting contributions to the School. The winner was selected from among more than 30 nominees.

“The review of nominations for the prestigious Abbott Award is surely a thorough and deliberate process with a pool of most deserving candidates,” said Jones. “I am honored and humbled to receive the award. I am very proud of my Darden degree and of my Darden affiliation. It really is hard to imagine that a two-year experience can have such a meaningful impact on my life.”

Jones, who served as a trustee for the Darden School Foundation for nine years, was instrumental in crafting the goals and strategic initiatives for the School’s current capital campaign. Upon initiating the Darden Principal Donors Society, he became a charter member and donor, and identified and cultivated many of the original Principal Donors. Jones also helped to fund many scholarships and initiatives, including the Jones Family Military Leadership Scholarship Fund, the Jones Classroom, the Rhett Classroom and the Jones Fountain. He was also the largest single contributor to the Darden Class Gift of 1974 — the Jefferson statue, which sits in the School’s Flagler Court.

In addition, Jones served his alma mater in the classroom as a guest lecturer in several of Professor John Colley‘s courses. His activities, such as working with Darden staff members to launch the Week on Wall Street, an annual trek for Darden MBA students, and leading an effort to encourage MBAs to enter investment banking and financial services careers in New York City, enhanced the Darden education experience.

Jones is a professor of the practice in the Scheller School of Business at Georgia Tech. He teaches the course “Management of Financial Institutions” for MBA candidates and upperclassmen. He also serves as vice chair and chair elect of the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees. Before launching his career as an educator, he spent most of his career as managing director for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc. before it was taken over by Credit Suisse.

“I hope I have illustrated, through my involvement and support, my love and my passion for the Darden School after 40 glorious years of pride and affiliation,” Jones said.

He credits Professors Colley and Bill Sihler, and Professors Emeritus Brandt Allen and Chris Gale, along with other faculty members, with grooming him for the rigors of business leadership.

“They challenged the students every single day to respond, to defend, to promote, to provoke, to persuade, to dissuade — an amazing catalyst to build self-confidence,” said Jones. “Two years of that will prepare you for anything.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia