UVA Darden Student’s Commitment to Inclusiveness and Global Leadership Earns Prestigious Recognition

By David Buie-Moltz

University of Virginia Darden School of Business student Fehin Ibiloye (MBA 2024) recently received the esteemed Lemuel E. Lewis Bicentennial Award for Global Leadership. Ibiloye’s exemplary embodiment of Darden’s values signifies the impact she has made during her time at the School and foreshadows her future contributions as a business leader and an alumna.

The selection process for this prestigious award is a unique, student-led endeavor that reflects the importance of empowering Darden students to recognize and celebrate their peers’ accomplishments. Students nominate candidates who have demonstrated a dedication to increasing inclusiveness and fostering a global perspective within the Darden community. The nominees then submit essays, which are reviewed by a committee of student affinity club leaders and select faculty and staff members.

Pooja Vittal (MBA 2023), a member of the selection committee, praised Ibiloye’s “enthralling” and “passionate” responses during the process. Ibiloye’s ability to articulate the global attributes of a leader and provide specific examples from her professional life and time at Darden impressed the committee. “She talked a lot about how she would scale the impact up as an alum at UVA and further on into her career,” Vittal said, highlighting Ibiloye’s commitment to service and global leadership.

Carolyn Miles (MBA ’88), the interim president of the Darden School Foundation, emphasized the importance of inclusiveness and diversity in the classroom during the award ceremony, saying, “It really matters to the discussions that we have in the classroom.” She also expressed gratitude to Lem Lewis (MBA ’72), the award’s founder, for his dedication to the Darden community and generous support of scholarships.

Learn more about Lem Lewis’ journey from scholarship recipient to donor:

The Lemuel E. Lewis Bicentennial Award for Global Leadership, established in 2018, supports both First Year and Second Year students. Dr. Syed Shehab (Class of 2024) received the first-year scholarship at a fall ceremony.

Lewis is a member of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees and a past member of the UVA Board of Visitors. He is also a recipient of the Charles C. Abbott Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a Darden graduate, and a member of the Principal Donors Society, a group recognizing the School’s most loyal stewards.

By putting students at the center of his philanthropy, Lewis ensures that the award recipients, like Ibiloye, continue to be inspiring role models for their peers and future generations of Darden students.

Philanthropy is a family affair. During the ceremony, Miles said, “Not only is Lem amazing, but his wife is too. Today is a big day for the Lewis family.”

Earlier in the day, the Emily Couric Leadership Forum honored Lewis’ wife, Sandra Wicks Lewis (Col’ 72), with its Women’s Leadership Award. She was recognized for establishing the Charlottesville 12 Scholarship Fund for Charlottesville High School graduates and the Robert and Elizabeth Wicks Fund for local community organizations, demonstrating her commitment to philanthropy.

To establish an endowed scholarship at Darden, please contact Stephanie Brady, assistant vice president of advancement, at BradyS@darden.virginia.edu or +1-207-333-2517.

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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