Record-Breaking Fundraising Year for UVA Darden Fueled by Support for Scholarships, Faculty Excellence

By Margaret Hancock

The collective support of alumni, faculty and friends of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business resulted in a second consecutive record-breaking fundraising year, generating more than $40.6 million in new commitments.

Philanthropy from within the Darden community advanced each of the School’s strategic priorities, most notably through support for scholarships and faculty excellence. Matching opportunities accessed through the University of Virginia Bicentennial Scholars Fund and Bicentennial Professors Fund allowed donors to increase their impact on the School, generating an additional $24.9 million in matching funds and bringing the total impact of philanthropy to $65.5 million.

“On behalf of Darden, I am extremely grateful to the loyal and generous donors who have made it possible for the School to invest in its strategic initiatives and immediately elevate support for students and faculty,” said Dean Scott Beardsley. “For the second year in a row, Darden has concluded one of the best fundraising years in the School’s history, setting all-time records for the Darden Annual Fund, the number of new Principal Donors and total raised on GivingToHoosDay. By connecting our donors’ passions with Darden’s strategic priorities, our donors are setting Darden on the trajectory to meet the School’s aspirational goals for UVA’s upcoming capital campaign.”

2018 fiscal year fundraising highlights include:

  • $40.6 million in overall new commitments, an increase from the $30.6 million raised in the previous fiscal year. This represents the second best fundraising year in Darden history, exceeded only by fiscal year 2000 when Frank Batten’s transformational gift supported the establishment of Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
  • $24.9 million from the Bicentennial Scholars Fund and Bicentennial Professors Fund, highlighted by:
    • A $15 million gift from the Batten Foundation to establish the Batten Foundation Darden Worldwide Scholarship program, which will provide every full-time Darden MBA student with the opportunity to enroll in a global course fully funded by philanthropy.
    • 12 new endowed Bicentennial scholarships, which allow Darden to provide competitive scholarships and attract top talent across its Full-time MBA and Executive MBA programs. The scholarships were funded in part through seven commitments at the $1 million-plus level.
    • Three new Bicentennial faculty chairs, strengthening the support of Darden’s teaching faculty, ranked No. 1 in the world by The Princeton Review.
  • $5.85 million raised for the Darden Annual Fund, a new record and a 7 percent increase from the previous year. Darden alumni demonstrated their tremendous loyalty, maintaining one of the highest participation rates among graduate business schools. A quarter of Annual Fund donors increased their levels of support across the four designated areas of giving to the Darden Annual Fund: Area of Greatest Need, Scholarships, Faculty Excellence and Global Impact.

Record Membership in Darden’s Principal Donors Society

The growth of Darden’s Principal Donors Society also reflected the tremendous support for the School. This fiscal year, Darden welcomed a record 16 new members to the Society, which is the School’s highest designation for lifetime giving, recognizing donors at the $1 million and above level. Areas of support from the newest Principal Donors include the Darden Annual Fund; faculty chairs and research; scholarships, including Darden Jefferson Fellowships; and strategic initiatives, such as the UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds in the Washington, D.C., area and the Initiative for Transformational Leadership and Learning.

A $1 Million GivingToHoosDay

Darden’s record-breaking Annual Fund total was aided by the School’s performance on GivingToHoosDay, held 10 April. Darden raised $1.24 million from nearly 1,000 gifts, earning the top spot among the University’s schools in total dollars raised. Darden leadership inspired support for the University-wide day of philanthropy as six individual donors provided dollar-for-dollar matches. Thanks to unprecedented response to the matching gifts, Darden alumni and friends more than doubled the totals raised for the School in the previous two years of GivingToHoosDay. The event represents the first $1 million day in the history of the Darden Annual Fund.

“It has been a phenomenal year at Darden, in which we’ve built on the success of the previous fiscal year, set the stage for the upcoming campaign and partnered with colleagues across the greater University of Virginia to achieve these fundraising successes,” said Kara Ramirez Mullins, executive director of Darden’s Office of Advancement. “We are so appreciative of the support from our community, which is poised to make a tremendous impact when we officially kick off the campaign next fall.”

Darden’s upcoming campaign aligns with UVA’s $5 billion fundraising campaign, which will launch its public phase in October 2019.

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.


Press Contact

David Hendrick
Associate Director, Editorial & Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia