UVA Darden Bestows Highest Student Honor, Awards for Academic Excellence at Fall Awards Event

02 September 2021

By Dave Hendrick

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business honored the accomplishments of top Second Year students during the annual Fall Student Awards ceremony, held on the first day of September.

Moved inside from Flagler Court as the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed through Virginia, the event offered another opportunity for the Darden community to come together to celebrate following a year when many events were held virtually.

The Second Year student awards recognize students who have excelled in a variety of areas, including academics, community building and the field of marketing, and culminates in the presentation of the Samuel Forrest Hyde Memorial Fellowship, which is considered Darden’s highest student honor.

The fellowship, which is determined by a faculty vote and honors a student who has contributed greatly to the School and shows immense career promise, was awarded to Jennifer Bundy.

Described by peers and professors as a leader and welcoming friend who brings “joy and light” into every conversation, Bundy was called someone who “listens to everyone” and “brings people into the community.” The tightknit nature of the Class of 2022 was due, at least in part, to her efforts, peers said.

Marketing Professor Kimberly Whitler presented the G. Robert Strauss Marketing Award to Jing Xu. The award recognizes a student with particular gifts in the marketing area, including innovative thinking, the ability to develop unique solutions to real-world problems and demonstrates compassion for other students.

The C. Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes exceptional service to the School of a nonacademic nature, was given to Mudit Bothra, Natalia Diaz, Alex Goodman, Andrew Kurzweil and Juan Montiel.

The William Michael Shermet Award, which honors students who have demonstrated excellence in the First Year, was awarded to:

  • Jacob Berlin
  • Will Blickle
  • Meghan Cabell
  • Joshua Dautel
  • Caroline Davis
  • Isa Seitzer
  • Geoffrey Hansen
  • Jungae Kim-Schmid
  • Emmett Mercer
  • Nwanneoma Ngonadi
  • Rafael Rivera
  • Alexander Smith
  • Chris Townsend
  • Walker White
  • Jing Xu
  • John Yates
  • Sharon Zhou

Executive MBAs Honored at Inaugural Award Event

In June, the Executive MBA program also awarded Class of 2022 students for their performance at the inaugural Executive MBA First Year Awards, which was held as part of a mid-program celebration in Charlottesville.

The awards included the C. Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award and the Executive MBA Exceptional Leadership Award.

Sheppard Award winners included Bert Bossar, Adi Kasarabada and Will Payne.

The exceptional leadership award was given to Bob McMurtry. The Executive MBA student was described as someone “epitomizing exceptional and servant leadership at Darden” who provided positive and encouraging energy both inside and outside of the classroom.

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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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia