The Business of Second Chances

By Jay Hodgkins

University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Greg Fairchild (MBA ’92) and his wife, Tierney Temple Fairchild (MBA ’93), have grown their effort to reduce recidivism among Virginia’s prison inmates by teaching them business and entrepreneurship skills into a thriving nonprofit that recruits Darden and other UVA students to serve as case study leaders for classes of inmates each year.

UVA’s Office of Advancement Communications recently profiled the Fairchilds growing effort in a feature titled, “The Business of Second Chances.”

The classes are offered in two Virginia corrections facilities, Dillwyn Correctional Center and Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women; along with one federal facility, the Petersburg Federal Correctional Institution (in which Darden alums lead the classroom teaching). The participants have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion in Darden’s special entrepreneurship, financial capability, and foundations of business courses.

The class meets two nights a week for nine months. A graduation ceremony is held, replete with “pomp and circumstance,” said Fairchild. There’s even a cake.

Fairchild is grateful for the funding he received from UVA’s Jefferson Trust, the Tayloe Murphy Center, and the Bankard Fund.

Other schools have reached out to Fairchild, expressing interest in implementing his program. This past spring, the Fairchilds launched a collaborative program with Columbia University at the Taconic Correctional Facility in Westchester County, New York. UVA and Darden alums will teach along Columbia MBAs. Fairchild would like to see more departments at UVA bring their resources to the inmates.

“UVA is out in front of this kind of program,” he said. “There are a host of other subjects that could be taught in prison.”

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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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