UVA Darden School Foundation Launches Matching Program for Gifts Supporting Inclusive Excellence Scholarships

By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia Darden School Foundation today announced an innovative scholarship matching funds program to support the establishment of new Full-Time MBA scholarships for talented international students, women, under-represented minorities and other groups who enhance the diversity of the Darden School’s student body and learning experience, and advance the School’s goal for inclusive excellence. All candidates will need to meet the criteria of the Darden School’s rigorous merit-based admissions process.

Under the matching program, endowment gifts and pledges to the Foundation of at least $500,000 in support of a qualifying scholarship fund will be matched by the Foundation in the amount of 100 percent of the fund’s “spendable draw” for five years. Spendable draw is typically about 5 percent of a fund total, which means a $1.5 million gift or pledge to establish a qualifying endowed fund could yield a roughly $375,000 match from the Foundation.

Immediate impact gifts to the Foundation of at least $80,000 can also qualify for matching funds. The Foundation will match gifts made in support of immediate impact Inclusive Excellence Scholarships dollar-for-dollar.

“Scholarships change people’s lives and are a critical strategic priority for the success of the School, and we must continue to increase our scholarship funding if we are to sustain a diverse and academically strong student body,” said Darden School Dean Scott Beardsley. “I hope this exciting program led by the Darden School Foundation will generate a new level of donor interest to ensure the most talented future leaders from all walks of life benefit from a Darden education.”

Previously during Darden’s Powered by Purpose capital campaign, the School’s supporters delivered incredible results through a similar University scholarship matching program, the UVA Bicentennial Scholars Fund, which has now concluded for graduate schools. Through donor support for scholarships and more than $30 million in matching funds from UVA, Darden established 41 new Bicentennial Scholars Fund-supported scholarships.

Under the new Foundation matching program, donors can unlock matching funds by creating a new qualifying scholarship endowment or by supporting an existing qualifying scholarship program, such as the Breakthrough Scholars or Impact Fellows programs.

“Scholarships for deserving students and inclusive excellence are strategic priorities of the Darden School and desired outcomes of the Powered by Purpose campaign,” said Darden School Foundation President Michael Woodfolk (TEP ’05). “The Foundation is proud to launch this innovative opportunity for Darden’s supporters to maximize their impact on our students and live our shared value as an inclusive community that enables its global and diverse members to collaborate and excel.”

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 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
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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia