The Generous Spirit Behind Darden’s Most Anticipated Alumni Bash in Washington, DC

By David Buie-Moltz

Porter White’s (MBA ’01) D.C. home

When it comes to supporting Darden, Porter White (MBA ’01) has a unique blend of generosity and style. As the global head of management and enterprise business intelligence at Bloomberg LP, he’s already made his mark in the corporate world. Yet his allegiance to the Hickory Club, named in honor of Dean Charles C. Abbott’s beloved Labrador retriever, signifies his deep-rooted commitment to Darden. Beyond regular gifts to the Darden Annual Fund, Porter adds a personal touch by hosting an annual holiday bash for Darden’s Washington, D.C., alumni at his Logan Circle residence. A decade into this tradition, with nearly 200 guests showing up every year, his gatherings are the talk of the town. We sat down with Porter to chat about his fascinating journey from DreamWorks to Darden, and why the School holds such a special place in his heart.

DreamWorks to Darden — sounds like a movie plot! How did that shift happen?

Well, after three years post-college, I landed a role at DreamWorks. Funny story, I even connected David Geffen to Steven Spielberg back in the day when they were forming the company. But after a while, I felt this pull towards the business side of things. I had friends who went to Darden, and they always spoke highly of it. Plus, Richmond has always been home. So, I gave it a shot, applied, and the rest is histo­ry: The dot-com bubble, joining a firm that IBM later acquired, a couple years at McK­insey, and now over 14 years at Bloomberg — it’s been quite a ride!

You seem so passionate about Darden. What’s the story behind your generous spirit?

Darden really was a game-changer for me. I mean, the way they teach, the core values, everything resonated. I felt that students genuinely understood what they were be­ing taught. And when you get so much, you naturally want to give back, right?

You’re all about keeping Darden’s spirit alive. How do you picture your role in its legacy?

Honestly, Darden’s legacy is pretty solid on its own. But hey, I want to chip in! Hosting events, celebrating with the community — that’s my way. Ever since I got this big townhouse, it’s been a place I wanted to use to bring people together. Whether it’s a baby shower or a landmark birthday, it’s all about sharing joy and keeping that Darden flame alive.

These events you host — what’s the real magic behind them?

For me, it’s all about giving back but in a fun way. I mean, I do donate in the traditional sense, but these events? They’re special. It’s heartwarming to see alumni bond, and even potential students getting a taste of the Darden spirit. It’s like one big family reunion every time.

If someone’s thinking about supporting Darden, what’s your pitch to them?

Jump in! It’s like joining a family reunion, even if you’re just starting out. Networking, parties, events — it’s all a testament to how tight the Darden community is. And hey, always remember to do it your way. For me, it’s no rules, just good vibes and camaraderie. But find what resonates with you and roll with it.

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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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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia