UVA Darden Welcomes Newest Students at ‘All Darden’ Opening Event

By David Hendrick

Jeanne Liedtka headshot

Interim Dean Jeanne Liedtka

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business welcomed students back to Grounds on 14 August with a special “All Darden” event at The Forum Hotel. 

The roughly 550 students, comprised of learners in the Full-Time MBA, Executive MBA, Part-Time MBA and newly relaunched Ph.D. program, came together at the official kickoff of Opening Week, a weeklong slate of programming intended to help Darden’s newest members feel connected, respected and inspired.  

"We care deeply. Hopefully, you feel that this week. You will definitely see it in the days and weeks ahead."
Interim Dean Jeanne Liedtka

Interim Dean Jeanne Liedtka welcomed students to what she called an “extraordinary place,” one where faculty and staff are “somewhat obsessed” with ensuring students have a great experience — and where students go out of their way to take care of each other.  

We care deeply,” Liedtka said. “Hopefully, you feel that this week. You will definitely see it in the days and weeks ahead.” 

Liedtka encouraged students to forge meaningful connections and help strengthen a community of kindness and respect.  

“Each of you will play an integral part in shaping the experience of your fellow students,” Liedtka said. 

The students at the All Darden welcome included 352 residential Full-Time MBAs, 123 Executive MBAs, 71 Part-Time MBAs and 7 Ph.D. students. The Full-Time and Executive MBA students are in the Class of 2025, and the Part-Time MBA and Ph.D. students progress on a more flexible timeline.

Key Stats on Darden’s Incoming Class

The new Darden students hail from 38 countries, and nearly one-quarter have advanced degrees.  

Demographic highlights across all formats include: 

  • 35% women 
  • 19% minority 
  • 19% first-generation students 
  • 15% U.S. citizen underrepresented minority 

The Full-Time, Part-Time and Executive MBA students collectively have a 710 Average GMAT and average GPA of 3.4, and 18 percent served in the military. 

Senior Assistant Dean of Admission Dawna Clarke

Senior Assistant Dean of Admission Dawna Clarke welcomes the new class

Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Clarke noted the years of hard work, personal accomplishment and strong character evident in each student’s application, and congratulated them on joining the community. 

“Darden is so well known for its community and its concerted efforts to optimize that, so that everyone feels a sense of belonging,” Clarke said. “Imagine the opportunity that you all have to form friendships with people across the country and around the world. I encourage you to make a pledge today to contribute to that sense of belonging by fully embracing each other over the next two years.” 

MSBA Program Welcomes 64 New Students

Additionally, the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program, which is based at UVA Darden DC Metro, welcomed 64 students to its newest cohort in August. The program, which is presented jointly by Darden and the UVA McIntire School of Commerce, includes 31 percent women and 20 percent under-represented minorities. Nearly one-fifth of the new students have prior advanced degrees, and students have eight years of previous work experience, on average.

See full class profiles for the Full-Time and Executive MBA Class of 2025, the Part-Time MBA Class of 2026 and the new cohort of MSBA and Ph.D. students. 

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.


Press Contact

David Hendrick
Associate Director, Editorial & Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia