Darden Community Celebrates UVA Bicentennial With Events Across Grounds

By Margaret Hancock

As the University of Virginia rang in the start of its third century last week, the Darden School of Business joined in the Bicentennial Launch Celebration with exciting gatherings for Darden leadership, volunteers, donors, alumni and students. For four days, the Darden Grounds and Dean Scott Beardsley’s Pavilion I home on the Lawn were buzzing with Darden alumni from near and far who gathered to witness history 200 years in the making.

“All in all, it was a spectacular few days for the Darden School of Business,” said Beardsley. “We were overjoyed to have front row seats at Pavilion I for the historic event on the UVA Lawn and to bring together our leaders — past and present — over the course of the celebration. We have immense pride in the University of Virginia and great expectations for Darden as we enter into the University’s third century.”

Beginning on 4 October, Darden brought together scholarship donors and recipients for a dinner that celebrated the generosity of those who support scholarships for Darden students. Two members of the Class of 2018, Mick Denner and Catherine Aranda, offered heartfelt remarks on the impact scholarships have made — and will continue to make — on their lives as scholars and future business leaders. Student aid remains a key priority of the University as its enters its third century, making Darden’s Scholarship Donor Dinner a fitting kickoff to the Bicentennial events.

On 5 October, the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees convened for their fall meeting, scheduled in conjunction with the Bicentennial Commemoration to ensure the trustees would be on Grounds for the momentous occasion. The Third Century Campaign and Darden’s future were among the top points of conversation from the meeting.

The celebration continued into the evening as Darden broke new ground with an unveiling of its first-ever donor wall, which showcases new recognition levels for the Principal Donors Society — the highest designation for lifetime giving to the School — including:

  • Jefferson: $25 million+
  • Madison: $10 million+
  • Monroe: $5 million+
  • Rotunda: $2.5 million+
  • Colonnade: $1 million+

Unveiling the new Principal Donors Society recognition wall coincided with the University’s bicentennial in order to align the most forward-thinking philanthropists of the School with the most forward-thinking founders of the University.

Gatherings on 6 October transitioned to Pavilion I, the home of Beardsley and his wife, Claire Dufournet, to dovetail with UVA’s marquee event on the Lawn. Beardsley opened both Pavilion I and Garden I for the School’s philanthropists, members of the board of trustees, and the leadership of the UVA Law School and Miller Center. The Hullabahoos sang to attendees in the garden before guests assembled on the Lawn to enjoy the music, lights, stories and incredible spectacles produced for the Bicentennial Launch Celebration.

The celebrations for Darden concluded on 7 October as Darden Society members and faculty members gathered for a tailgate at Pavilion I before the UVA vs. Duke football game. It was the second annual tailgate in honor of the society members’ generosity, and Darden’s annual fund donors were pleased to have another reason to return to Grounds.

In addition to a robust alumni presence, Darden also enjoyed the economic impact felt across Charlottesville thanks to the Bicentennial Commemoration. The Darden Inn was at full capacity, while Sloney’s Pub and Darden’s Abbott Center dining team extended its services to hundreds of visitors.

Dean Scott Beardsley and his wife, Claire Dufournet, hosted Darden alumni at an event for Darden Society members before the Duke-UVA football game on 7 October.
Darden hosted alumni and guests in a suite at Scott Stadium for the Duke-UVA football game on 7 October.
Scholarship students joined the donors who support scholarships at Darden's scholarship dinner on 4 October.
UVA President Teresa Sullivan joined Darden during its scholarship dinner on 4 October.
Scholarship donors toasted scholarship students at Darden's scholarship dinner on 4 October.
Scholarship students Catherine Aranda and Mick Denner, both Class of 2018, spoke to donors at Darden's scholarship dinner on 4 October.
Darden unveiled new wall displays honoring the School's Principal Donors at a special dinner in their honor on 5 October.
The Virginia Gentleman performed for Darden alumni and donors at the School's Leadership Donor Dinner on 5 October.
From left to right, Darden School Foundation President Michael Woodfolk, Executive Director of Advancement Kara Mullins and Dean Scott Beardsley celebrate the School's donors at the Leadership Donor Dinner on 5 October.
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