Q&A With Peter Grant, Chair of UVA’s Third Century Campaign
By Margaret Hancock
This spring, University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumnus Peter Grant II (MBA ’86) was appointed to serve as chair of UVA’s Third Century Campaign, which is set to begin its quiet phase with the conclusion of the University’s Bicentennial Launch Celebration in early October. The role is certainly a distinct — but not the first — leadership role for Grant at UVA. He also serves on the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees and as a member of its Advancement Committee.
Darden Executive Director of Advancement Kara Ramirez Mullins spoke with Grant to learn more about his role and vision for the campaign.
Darden is thrilled to have one of its own chairing this incredible and historic campaign! What excites you the most about this new role?
The campaign and its linkage to the University Bicentennial provide a unique opportunity to frame the case for the University’s third century. Very few institutions enjoy that context. A successful campaign effort will serve as a foundation for the vision we articulate for the University’s third century, and I am motivated and excited by that challenge.
How do you envision the campaign transforming the University of Virginia?
We are very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of the generosity of University donors and their commitments to prior campaigns. Similar to past campaigns, this one will have a discrete set of initiatives and priorities — many of them focused on strengthening and building endowment. This campaign may envision a number of pan-University initiatives that will leverage many of our existing core strengths. Students expect innovation and cross-disciplinary problem solving, and we need to be equipped to deliver. The aim is to position the University as the nation’s centerpiece for public education — as a thought leader — while offering our students an experience that prepares them to meet the challenges of the future
We at Darden are actively readying our school for the campaign and the quiet phase launch. What do you see as the most critical steps for us — or any of the schools — at this point?
All of the University’s schools and foundations have been hard at work developing their respective campaign plans. Darden has invested a lot of time and energy in this process. With the approaching launch of the quiet phase of the campaign, Darden and the other schools will be refining their lists of initiatives in an effort to build consensus around top priorities that can have the greatest impact and also attract the support of our donors and sponsors.
What should your fellow Darden alumni know about the campaign’s quiet phase and what we need to achieve in the next two years?
The quiet phase of the campaign sets the tone and the pace of the subsequent public phase. A successful quiet phase generates meaningful support and commitments for the aforementioned Darden priorities. Early success and participation sends a positive signal to our alumni and creates great momentum. Darden occupies a coveted position in the top tier of graduate business education, which is a competitive landscape. Our peer group has been very active recently with their own campaigns, and the challenge for Darden is very well defined.
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. 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.
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia