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
  • Frederick Blickle IV
  • Meghan Cabell
  • Joshua Dautel
  • Caroline Davis
  • Isa Seitzer
  • Geoffrey Hansen
  • Jungae Kim-Schmid
  • Emmett Mercer
  • Nwanneoma Ngonadi
  • Rafael Rivera
  • Alexander Smith
  • Chris Townsend
  • Charles 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 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.


Press Contact

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