Jim Cooper (MBA ’84) Receives Prestigious Abbott Award for Exceptional Contributions to UVA Darden

By David Buie-Moltz

Renowned business leader and philanthropist Jim Cooper (MBA ’84) was recently honored with the esteemed Charles C. Abbott Award, the highest accolade bestowed upon a University of Virginia Darden School of Business graduate. 

"I’m here because I love this school, and I’m very proud of this school."
Jim Cooper (MBA ’84)

Dean Scott Beardsley announced this year’s winner at his annual State of the School address on 29 April. The Darden Alumni Association Board of Directors presents the Charles C. Abbott Award to an alumnus or alumna who has made exceptional contributions to the Darden School. 

Jim Cooper at lecturn

Cooper accepts the Abbott Award. Photo: Tom Daly

Throughout his career as the managing partner and founder of Thompson Street Capital Partners and through various other ventures, Cooper has consistently embodied Darden’s mission, values and principles. His extraordinary leadership is further evidenced by his twelve years of service on the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees. He served as chair of the Board of Trustees and serves as chair of the Powered by Purpose campaign. Under his guidance, the campaign recently reached its $400 million first milestone. 

“This is a huge honor,” Cooper said upon receiving the award. “I’m here because I love this school, and I’m very proud of this school.” 

The word “transformational” may be overused to describe the Darden experience, Cooper said, but it’s used so frequently because it remains the most apt. 

Demonstrating remarkable financial generosity, Cooper and his wife, Stacey Cooper, are Principal Donors at the Madison Level and members of the Darden Society and Hickory Club. They are also members of UVA’s Rotunda and Lawn Societies. The couple has fervently supported Darden’s mission to inspire responsible leaders by establishing the James A. and Stacy Cooper Bicentennial Professorship, the Bruner Fund for Transformational Learning, the James A. Cooper Family Fellowship, the James A. Cooper Family Fund for Asset Management, and through significant contributions to various funds and initiatives. 

Cooper has also served Darden by teaching in the classroom, presenting as a Leadership Series speaker, serving as a reunion committee member, hosting and attending events across the country, making numerous individual connections with students and faculty, and providing valuable counsel to School leaders. 

Watch the Abbott Award Presentation

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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