UVA Darden Annual Fund Sponsors Clubs, Reducing Costs, Fostering Community and Enhancing Student Experience
By David Buie-Moltz
The uniquely close-knit and diverse student experience at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business owes much to the many student-run organizations that host academic, career and social events throughout the year. Recently, however, these organizations have encountered financial challenges with the potential to limit their programming and student participation. Powered by generous alumni support, a new Darden Annual Fund initiative is sponsoring several organizations, reducing associated costs for students and allowing them to focus on what they do best: community building.
Chief among these efforts, the Darden Annual Fund recently announced its sponsorship of the Darden Student Association (DSA). Alumni contributions are now helping offset rising costs for hosting events that otherwise would have been passed along to students through substantially higher dues.
DSA President Tyler Kelley (Class of 2023) said that dues would have needed to increase by 50 percent from last year to maintain the organization’s high level of student engagement. Instead, dues only rose 18 percent this year. This moderate increase kept them affordable for students — as evidenced by the fact that a record 99 percent of Full-Time MBA students paid DSA dues this year.
“The DSA is the heart of the School, the entity that helps maintain the many Darden traditions which connect the past and present,” Kelley said. “Given inflation and the changing nature of our economy, we would not be able to offer students the same experience without the support of our amazing alumni. Their willingness to give and come back allows us to make Darden a more diverse and inclusive place and a fulfilling experience for all students, their families and the rest of our community.”
More specifically, the DSA continues to partner with clubs to host its regularly scheduled, family-friendly “Cold Calls” — social gatherings hosted most Thursdays after class. These partnerships ensure that School-wide student and community engagement is more accessible to clubs of all sizes, purposes and backgrounds. The DSA also works with other groups on its OneDarden series. Kelley said these events “celebrate the diverse cultures and perspectives within our community, bringing folks together from all backgrounds as one body in the name of Darden.”
The Darden Annual Fund is sponsoring more than the DSA, however. The annual fund is also partnering with the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to review requests from other student clubs seeking funding.
Already this semester, the Darden Annual Fund has provided financial support to industry clubs (Darden Private Equity Club), cross-sector clubs (Business Ethics at Darden Club), affinity clubs (Asia Business Club at Darden, Black Business Student Association, Darden African Business Organization, Darden South Asia Society, Global Business and Culture Club, Graduate Women in Business, Latin American Student Association, Middle Eastern Islamic Student Association, Pride at Darden), outreach clubs (One for the World), and general interest clubs (Cold Call Chorus, Darden Running Club). The annual fund has also sponsored events hosted by student members of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, Darden’s First Gen and Low Income student initiative, and the Executive MBA Student Association.
“I’m excited that we can support the Darden Annual Fund in raising awareness about the work they do to make Darden a better place,” Kelley said. “Darden is what it is and can do the many amazing things it does because of its partnership with kind alumni and donors from across the world. As students, we will have the opportunity to impact Darden beyond our time here as well, so the more we know and appreciate the efforts of the Darden Annual Fund, the greater the impact we can make in the future.”
To support these efforts to enhance the student experience, make a gift to the Darden Annual Fund.
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.
Associate Director, Editorial & Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia