Goodwin Establishes Endowment to Fund Scholarships for Women

Kirsti Goodwin (MBA ’02) and her family have continually led both the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and the University of Virginia as active and generous supporters.

As a Principal Donor, member of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees and head of the committee currently weighing a master facility plan for the School, Goodwin continued her leadership by establishing the Kirsti W. Goodwin Scholarship. The scholarship endowment will fund half the tuition for women recipients, beginning with a student in the Class of 2018. The creation of this endowed fund was in direct response to Dean Scott Beardsley’s strong case for raising student scholarship funds — particularly for women.

As Darden works to attract more women to the School, scholarships are a key ingredient in encouraging the most talented applicants to enroll. Indeed, in establishing the Darden Scholarship Challenge in 2015, Beardsley noted the stark comparisons between what Darden was able to offer students versus other top business schools.

While roughly a third of Darden students received scholarship support in the 2014–15 school year, the figure is closer to 50 percent at many peer schools, potentially making it difficult for Darden to compete against more attractive offers. Closing the scholarship gap with peer schools is particularly important in attracting the top female candidates, who are in high demand across the B-school spectrum.

Goodwin notes that deciding whether to go to business school can be especially difficult for women, as concerns about taking time off from a career or potentially juggling school and family weigh heavily on many would be applicants.

“Women in business and leadership roles are so important, so anything I can to do help increase the numbers is great,” said Goodwin.

Goodwin, who worked in the financial industry after Darden, said the skills she learned at Darden and the network she was able to tap into set her onto an entirely new career path.

“Personally and professionally, Darden gave me so much more confidence in myself and my ability to do whatever I wanted to do, career-wise,” said Goodwin. “It opened up so many doors and opened my eyes to all the things I could do.” Goodwin said giving to Darden was just one way to ensure that the School maintained the “momentum it has right now to continue educating the leaders of tomorrow.”

“Giving to Darden, for me, is an easy decision,” said Goodwin. “It changed my life so much, and I feel fortunate to have had the experience of coming here. Graduates from here go on to do amazing things and change the world in awesome ways, so anything I can do to inspire others to go to business school and then give back is good for the School and the world.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. 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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