UVA Darden Expands Uses of India Fund to Support Broader Engagement in India

By Margaret Hancock

To find the intersection between the University of Virginia Darden School of Business’ global priorities and its philanthropic goals, look no further than the Darden India Fund.

Established in 2009, the Darden India Fund originated with support from alumnus VN Dalmia (MBA ’84) to provide scholarship assistance for Indian students attending Darden.

Today, collaboration between Darden and India extends much further than student admissions. Over the last decade, Darden has extensively broadened its reach across the globe, increasing internship and research opportunities abroad, selling published case studies and additional faculty content in 128 countries, expanding the list of global leaders who share their expertise with the Darden community, and visiting more than 100 countries through programs and events. India is a significant part of this international picture, with events including a Darden Worldwide Course for full-time MBA students in Bangalore and New Delhi, a global residency for Executive MBA students with stops across much of the country, consulting projects, multiple alumni events and a growing Executive Education presence. In addition, India’s Narayana Murthy, co-founder of global information technology industry giant Infosys, was awarded the 2017 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Global Innovation. The medal, hosted by Darden, is UVA’s highest honor.

To mirror Darden’s rapid global growth and impact, the Darden India Fund will now support many of those broad activities through a recent expansion in how funds can be allocated.

While the fund will continue to aid in the recruitment of talented Indian students through scholarships, it will now also support the student experience through the allocation of scholarships for Darden Worldwide Courses around the world for Indian students and subsidized internships in business areas, such as entrepreneurship. The fund will also provide scholarships for Darden students of any nationality to participate in a Darden Worldwide Course in India.

“Ultimately, we need Darden to have incredible impact on our students in their growth as global leaders. Presenting diverse points of view, cultures, experiences and challenges in all formats of the Darden education is the ultimate means of securing this impact,” said Marc Johnson, Darden’s executive director for global affairs. “The Darden India Fund is a fundamental stepping stone and imperative to the School’s success on a global front.”

Ronald Trzcinski Professor of Business Administration Raj Venkatesan joins Johnson in supporting the growth of the Darden India Fund. Venkatesan recently traveled to Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley and New York City with the Darden Office of Advancement to meet with alumni and provide insight into exciting initiatives underway in India, including annual opportunities each year for more than 70 Darden students to visit India for leadership lessons, engagement with local business leaders and visits to important cultural sites.

Venkatesan will also host a webinar on 15 June to allow Darden alumni interested in the School’s global initiatives, including the Darden India Fund, to join the conversation. Executive Director of Advancement Kara Mullins said the webinar will be an ideal format to highlight opportunities for the Darden India Fund with Darden’s alumni community.

“Earlier this year, UVA President Teresa Sullivan, Dean Scott Beardsley, Michael Woodfolk, president of the Darden School Foundation, and I have traveled to India and have each returned inspired by the prospective students and the alumni,” Mullins said. “More importantly, we return motivated by the ever-growing opportunities and the understanding of what strong collaborations with India can do for the University, the School and our collective global stature.”


  • View the Darden India Fund video.
  • Register for the webinar.
  • Support the Darden India Fund.

For more information on the Darden India Fund, contact Kara R. Mullins at MullinsK@darden.virginia.edu or +1-434-243-0834.

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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