Dean Robert F. Bruner to Speak at UVA and Darden Commencements

06 May 2015

Dean Robert F. Bruner has bid farewell to University of Virginia Darden School of Business graduates with parting words of wisdom nine times previous in his current role as Darden’s eighth dean. For the first time, he will have the opportunity to do the same for graduates from across the University.

During Final Exercises on the Lawn starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, 17 May, Dean Bruner will serve as the keynote speaker for new graduates from 10 of the University’s schools. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will address graduates of the College and Graduate Schools of Arts & Sciences on the Lawn on Saturday, 16 May. Due to ongoing renovation work on the Lawn and Rotunda, the University has divided Final Exercises into two ceremonies held on separate days.

Dean Bruner will offer his final Darden graduation address as dean in Flagler Court in a ceremony starting at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, 17 May.

His graduation addresses to Darden students have become a tradition offering advice to help new graduates pursue the next steps in their professional careers. Last year, he lamented the conventional wisdom that listening was a lost art and encouraged graduates to listen well in order to find the right direction. In 2013, he encouraged graduates to consider bucking the trend of career wanderlust in favor of hanging on, hanging in and making a difference at one company. In 2008, he bid farewell to the first class of graduates admitted on his watch as dean and expressed his wish that they make the acquisition of practical wisdom a habit for the rest of their lives.

He’s quoted Mark Twain, Aristotle, Ernest Hemingway and many more during these addresses (each of which can be viewed on the Dean’s Blog archives). In addition to sending off the first MBA class admitted during his tenure, Dean Bruner has also addressed the first graduating MBA for Executives (EMBA) and Global MBA for Executives (GEMBA) classes. Both programs were founded during his 10 years at the helm and were major priorities during his two terms. He has also personally recruited many of the Darden professors who will attend the graduation ceremony.

Dean Bruner was invited to speak at UVA Final Exercises by the committee in recognition of his tremendous impact at Darden and the University as a whole. University President Teresa A. Sullivan commended Dean Bruner at length after he announced his intent to step down as dean at the end of his current term.

“Bob Bruner’s impact on Darden has been transformational and will carry the school forward,” Sullivan said. “Darden is recognized worldwide for student satisfaction and for delivering the best graduate business education experience. Bob and his team have achieved this reputation through curricular innovations, the launch of two new formats of the Darden MBA, an unrelenting search for top faculty and student talent, and attention to every detail of the academic experience.”

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.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia