UVA Darden Inducts New Members to Principal Donors Society, Recognizing Extraordinary Philanthropy

By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business announces six new members to the Principal Donors Society, the School’s highest designation for lifetime giving.

Darden’s Principal Donors have fueled the School’s surge to excellence since its founding and have contributed significantly to the School’s establishment, history and facilities.

“The Principal Donors uphold Darden’s founding vision to prepare men and women of high promise to act with determination, judgment and integrity as they lead organizations around the globe,” said Elizabeth Weymouth (MBA ’94). “Each Principal Donor has a special reason why he or she gives to Darden, but all share a belief in and commitment to this School’s mission to improve the world.”

Darden will formally induct the new members at a celebration held on Grounds on 27 April. Five of the six new members of the Principal Donors Society are:

  • Bill Coogan (MBA ’82), who served as chairman and CEO of aerospace defense manufacturing company Firstmark Corp. until June 2015. Coogan has supported the John L. Colley Jr. Darden Jefferson Fellowships through the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, the Robert F. Bruner Dean’s Fund for Faculty Excellence, additional scholarships at Darden and the Darden Annual Fund.
  • John Fowler (MBA ’84), vice chairman of investment banking at Wells Fargo Securities. He currently serves on the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees and previously served as chair of Darden’s Corporate Advisory Board. He recently established the Fowler Family Jefferson Scholars Foundation Endowment Fund to support scholarships for outstanding students at Darden and the College of Arts & Sciences, and has also supported additional scholarships at Darden, faculty and research initiatives, and the Darden Annual Fund.
  • Bob Smith (MBA ’87), who served in many executive roles for T. Rowe Price until his retirement in 2016 and serves on the board of MGM Growth Properties. Smith and his wife, Terri, have established the Smith Family Jefferson Fellowship to provide scholarships for outstanding students at Darden and the Curry School of Education. He has also supported the Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management, additional scholarships at Darden and the Darden Annual Fund.
  • Bruce Thompson (MBA ’90), vice chairman at Bank of America Corp. Thompson serves on Darden’s board of trustees and is an ardent supporter of post-doctoral research, the Robert F. Bruner Dean’s Fund for Faculty Excellence and scholarships, in addition to providing unrestricted support for the Darden Annual Fund and endowment.
  • Bill Utt (MBA ’84), chairman of the board of directors at Cobalt International Energy, and, effective June 2017, of Teekay Corp. and Teekay Offshore Partners. Utt is a member of Darden’s board of trustees and leads the Darden Worldwide Course in Normandy, France. He recently established the Utt Family Scholarship Fund and has also supported the John L. Colley Jr. Darden Jefferson Fellowships, in addition to contributing to faculty and research initiatives, physical infrastructure, the Darden Partners Association, and the Darden Annual Fund.

The sixth new Principal Donor has chosen to remain anonymous.

“Each of these new Principal Donors have made a remarkable impact on Darden that extends the legacy of those who came before,” said Dean Scott Beardsley. “On behalf of the Darden students and faculty of today and tomorrow, I express my sincere gratitude for their extraordinary leadership that will undoubtedly continue to propel the Darden School to new heights of excellence in the years to come.”

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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Darden School of Business
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