UVA Darden Alumni Step Up to Honor Professor Emeritus C. Ray Smith

By Jay Hodgkins

Frank Sands Sr. (MBA ’63) created a tremendous opportunity to power the renovation of the C. Ray Smith Alumni Hall at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business by pledging $7.2 million for a matching challenge, and several donors have stepped forward with major gifts to unlock the matching funds. Among the list of new supporters is Lem Lewis (MBA ‘72).

“C. Ray Smith understood the power of a tightknit community, which is why he has been such a valued lifelong mentor to me and thousands of his former students at Darden,” said Lewis. “The renovations to Smith Alumni Hall will create new areas for community and collaboration, which is why I wanted to support this project and honor C. Ray.”

Part of Darden’s Grounds Master Plan, a major piece of one of the four priorities of the $400 million Powered by Purpose campaign, the renovated Smith Alumni Hall will house dramatically improved program space for alumni events and lifelong learning opportunities, as well as new office space. Once the Grounds Master Plan is complete, the building will be nestled between a new inn and conference center, new arboretum and botanical gardens, and Darden’s core academic buildings on its Charlottesville Grounds.

On 2 September, Darden held an event to honor Professor Emeritus Smith (MBA ’58). More than 100 friends and former students joined the virtual event, offering incredible memories of how Smith impacted their lives. Through the event and conversations following it, more than $1.2 million was pledged to support the renovation of Smith Alumni Hall.

“One late afternoon on my way to my bartending job at the Boar’s Head Inn, I bumped into C. Ray as I was picking up my cases for that night,” shared Gordon Crawford (MBA ‘71). “He said, ‘You didn’t sign up to see the Capital Group. Call in sick, get a suit on, and I’ll try to have them wait to see you.’ The rest is history. I spent my entire career at Capital. I am eternally grateful to C. Ray for his dedication to me as his student and the way he mentored me to be the best I could be.”

Darden is seeking additional support to unlock the matching funds from Sands and move forward with the renovation.

For more information, contact interim Vice President of Advancement Samantha Hartog at HartogS@darden.virginia.edu or +1-434-982-2151.

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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