Faculty Forward: Elevating Darden’s Excellence

By David Buie-Moltz

The Darden School isn’t just a place; it’s a feeling, a sense of purpose that resonates with those who walk our halls.

Our alumni have propelled the Powered by Purpose campaign beyond expectations, raising more than $406 million and achieving our first milestone two years ahead of schedule. This generosity has transformed our faculty, with more than $136 million, including UVA matching dollars, enabling the creation of 28 new professorships and numerous funds to honor Darden legends.

But our journey isn’t over. As we approach the campaign deadline of 30 June 2025, we’re focusing on our next ambitious milestone: Faculty Forward.

The Heart of Darden: Our Faculty

Dean Emeritus Bob Bruner

Our faculty aren’t just educators; they’re life-changers. They architect the “aha moments” that transform lives.

Dean Emeritus Bob Bruner captures this sentiment: “The most meaningful part of my experience at Darden over my 40 years here is the look of aha in the eyes of the students. As they grasp that calculation, that dilemma presented in the case, the application of that concept to the wider world becomes clear. They see the difference they can make in the world using that idea. From that classroom, from that moment, that’s an extraordinarily important impact on the lives of our students.”

The Case for Support: A Crucial Crossroads

We’re at a pivotal moment, now among the world’s elite business schools, thanks to our faculty — the heart of Darden. But this heart needs care.

We face challenges: filling new faculty positions, offering competitive salaries and providing the resources our faculty need to excel. The cost of inaction isn’t just financial; it’s risking what makes Darden unique.

Faculty Forward isn’t just a campaign slogan; it’s a call to action. It’s a movement to ensure our future remains extraordinary.

Priorities for Faculty Forward

  • Hire, retain and develop the next generation of star professors.
  • Preserve and strengthen our trans­formational learning experience.
  • Grow Darden’s thought leadership infrastructure.
  • Invest and promote ideas that change the world.

Investing in the Future: Five Opportunities

  1. Fuel Faculty Excellence — $55M:

    Through a dedicated endowment for faculty excellence, we’re not just revitalizing the Faculty Office Building; we’re setting the stage for groundbreaking collaborations and research. This strategic investment attracts and retains the world’s leading educators, reinforcing Darden’s position as a global powerhouse in business education.

  2. Lead in Business Ethics and Societal Impact — $35M:

    A visionary endowment for the Institute for Business in Society propels Darden to the forefront of business ethics and societal impact, pioneering initiatives in DEI, ESG and sustainability.

  3. Shape the Next Era of Business Intelligence — $50M:

    With the Business Institute for Data and Intelligence, Darden emerges as the trailblazer in ethical and innovative tech applications in the business landscape.

  4. Elevate and Innovate Teaching Excellence — $30M:

    The Center for Transformational Learning is set to redefine Darden’s teaching legacy for the modern era. This center is designed to supercharge faculty development, revolutionize curriculum, pioneer advanced case writing, and harness technology for state-of-the-art coaching and feedback.

  5. Pioneer the Evolution of Modern Finance — $30M:

    Transforming the Mayo Center for Asset Manage­ment into the Institute for Global Capital Markets, Darden boldly steps into the future of finance, exploring realms like venture capital, private equity and real estate, setting new standards in the financial sector.

The Final Word and Next Steps:
Seizing the Synergy of Teaching And Research

Professor S. “Venkat” Venkataraman

Professor S. “Venkat” Venkataraman says it best: “It’s not just about great teaching. It’s about teaching great things.” Our faculty consistently deliver the best educational experience, intertwining leading-edge research and practical ideas.

The opportunity is right in front of us. Let’s reciprocate the life-changing investment our faculty made in us by elevating Faculty Forward. Let’s ensure Darden continues to set the standard for excellence, where heart and mind coalesce and teaching and ideas are inseparable. Let’s ensure the heartbeat of purpose at Darden never falters.

Elevate Darden’s Legacy

Discover how to champion Darden’s future at giving.darden.virginia.edu. For tailored guidance, contact Deputy Vice President for Advancement Samantha Hartog at +1-434-982-2151 or HartogS@darden.virginia.edu.

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

Molly Mitchell
Associate Director of Content Marketing and Social Media
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia