Class of 2020 UVA Darden Standout Students Earn Awards for Outstanding Contributions

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business celebrated what Senior Associate Dean of the Full-Time MBA Program Tom Steenburgh called one of his favorite days of the year on 28 August, as the School gathered in Flagler Court to honor more than 20 standout Second Year students.

The awards ceremony, which recognizes students for outstanding performance both in the classroom and community, culminated in the awarding of the Samuel Forrest Hyde Memorial Fellowship, Darden’s highest honor.

The fellowship, which is determined by faculty vote and awarded to a student who offered immense contributions to the School and shows great career promise, was awarded to Alexandra Medack.

Medack, who worked in both international diplomacy and on autonomous vehicles at General Motors before Darden, was recognized as someone “devoted to excellence in all things” who “brings out the best in her classmates” and is “committed to leaving Darden a better place than when she arrived.”

The Hyde Fellowship was established by family and friends of First Lieutenant Samuel Forrest Hyde, a graduate of the UVA Class of 1950, who died in the Korean War.

Marketing Professor Kimberly Whitler presented the G. Robert Strauss Marketing Award to Emily Hecker. The award recognizes a student who shows innovative thinking, the ability to develop unique solutions to real-world problems and demonstrates compassion for other students, among other traits.

The Strauss Award was established in 1989 by members of the Class of 1987 in memory of their classmate, G. Robert Strauss Jr.

The C. Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes exceptional service to the School of a nonacademic nature, was awarded to Adam Miller, Rachel Wood Southall and Vita Fay Wu.

The William Michael Shermet Award, which honors students who have demonstrated excellence in the First Year, went to 15 students. Shermet Award winners included:

  • Ann-Catherine Begley
  • Carson Brooks
  • Kelly Connors
  • Dylan Eldridge
  • Luke Elias
  • Michael Hovick
  • Bryce Istvan
  • Waleed Jehandad
  • Max Linden
  • Vineet Paruchuri
  • Aly Perez
  • Ravi Kesav Srinivas Pidikiti
  • Taylor Shepard
  • Natalie Stoll
  • Logan White
Alexandra Medack received the Samuel Forrest Hyde Memorial Fellowship, Darden's highest honor.
The G. Robert Strauss Marketing Award was presented to Emily Hecker.
(From left) Rachel Wood Southall, Adam Miller and Vita Fay Wu received the C. Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award.
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.


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Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia