UVA Darden One of 10 ‘Schools to Watch’ in 2024
By Dave Hendrick
The publication, which describes the list as highlighting the schools that “positioned themselves for the biggest steps forward in the coming year,” noted multiple sources of innovation and positive development at Darden. The article says the School continues to move forward while achieving “the most difficult outcomes of any business: happy customers.”
At the end of 2023, Poets & Quants ranked Darden No. 8 in its 2023-24 ranking of the Top 100 U.S. MBA programs. The ranking, the highest ever for Darden by Poets & Quants, is determined using a composite of five major MBA rankings: U.S. News & World Report, The Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, LinkedIn and Princeton Review.
In naming the School to its annual “Schools to Watch” list, the publication notes the enhancements brought about by The Forum Hotel, which opened on Darden Grounds in April 2023. In addition to adding a Kimpton-managed hotel and two restaurants to Grounds, the Forum added new classrooms and conference spaces, surrounded by the new Arboretum and LaCross Botanical Gardens.
While serving as a gathering spot for the Darden, UVA and broader Charlottesville community, the publication says the new development “personifies how Darden is all about the people and the experience.”
In addition to the physical enhancements on Grounds, the publication cites various milestones the School met in 2023. Career results continued to hit the highest marks in School history, with Full-Time MBA graduates in the Class of 2023 setting new records for starting pay. The School’s Powered by Purpose capital campaign also exceeded its initial $400 million milestone nearly two years ahead of schedule, helping power Darden’s priorities, including faculty excellence, scholarships and the student experience.
The strong fundraising included a history-making gift in October 2023 from David (MBA ’78) and Kathleen LaCross. The $100 million-plus gift is the largest in School history and among the largest to any business school. It furthers the priorities of Faculty Forward, the second milestone of the Powered by Purpose campaign, and will fund research and instruction in artificial intelligence.
Speaking at the gift announcement, Darden Dean Scott Beardsley said the gift would “position Darden and its faculty at the forefront and enriching the Charlottesville on-Grounds experience for faculty and students, creating a dynamic and vibrant future for Darden.”
The future on-Grounds experience will be built on a strong foundation, given student experience rankings that routinely rank Darden among the world’s best.
Poets & Quants notes the recent Princeton Review rankings that saw Darden ranked in the Top 10 in more categories than any other school, across metrics focusing on classroom experience and campus environment, among others. The new high in the Poets & Quants ranking reflected the strength across multiple rankings, notably the No. 3 ranking Darden received from Bloomberg Businessweek, its highest-ever from the publication.
Poets & Quants concludes, “Darden will always remain a program to watch because they deliver on what their MBAs want most: a great experience.”
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
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