Read the Top 10 Darden Report Stories of 2023

23 January 2024

The new year is gaining momentum, but before 2024 fully takes off, we’re taking a moment to appreciate an exceptional year of Darden stories. Between record rankings, the opening of The Forum Hotel and LaCross Botanical Gardens, exciting work by Darden entrepreneurs, exceptional student journeys and so much more, we are proud of how far we’ve come and where we’re going. Check out the ten most-read Darden Report stories of 2023 (in no particular order) below:

1. In Pictures: The Grand Opening of The Forum Hotel at UVA Darden

The Forum Hotel

The Forum Hotel. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff Photography, LLC

The University of Virginia community celebrated a dramatic enhancement to North Grounds with the grand opening and ribbon cutting of The Forum Hotel on 26 April 2023. The hotel, which replaced the UVA Inn at Darden, features 198 guest rooms and two restaurants —  Birch & Bloom, a modern steakhouse, and The Good Sport, a craft beer bar.

More than 22,000 square feet of gathering and classroom space, including a ballroom, tiered and flat classrooms and small meeting spaces, open up new avenues for instruction and gatherings, while a six-acre arboretum and botanical garden adds connectivity to North Grounds and Charlottesville. Read more >

2. UVA Darden Rises to No. 3 US Business School in New Ranking

Sanders Hall with a runner in front Darden Rankings

Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the University of Virginia Darden School of Business the No. 3 business school in the United States in its new Best B-Schools 2023-24 ranking. The ranking, which measures Full-Time MBA programs, is the highest the publication has ever given the School and up six places from the prior year. Read more >

3. UVA Darden Receives Largest Gift in School History From David (MBA ’78) and Kathleen LaCross

On 26 October, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business received news of a transformational gift from David M. LaCross (MBA ’78) and his wife, Kathleen O. LaCross. This updates a prior gift of $44 million the LaCross family made to Darden in October 2022 — which totaled $50 million thanks to matching funds from UVA.

With this update, the LaCross gift to the Darden School is well over $100 million — the highest in the Darden School’s 68-year history and in the current Powered by Purpose campaign. The gift is among the Top 10 to any business school and puts the LaCross family among the top five donors to the University of Virginia Honor the Future campaign. Read more >

4. Employment Report for 2023–24 Shows Record Salaries for UVA Darden Class of 2023

students walking up stairs

Darden’s Full-Time MBA Class of 2023 received the highest mean starting salary in school history for the fifth consecutive year, with an average base salary of $167,899.

The 2023 Class maintained a high percentage of job offers accepted within 90 days after graduation, with 94.5 percent of graduates accepting a full-time job offer in that period. 95.8 percent of the students received at least one job offer within 90 days of graduation. Read more >

5. Darden Releases New Case (Taylor’s Version)

Taylor Swift singing Taylor Swift masters value

Photo: shutterstock / Brian Friedman

Taylor Swift’s right to control the master recordings of her first six albums has resonated in popular culture since the controversy began in 2019, when Scooter Braun purchased Big Machine Records, Swift’s original label. Darden Business Publishing released a new case, written by Kelcie Schofield (MBA ’23) with support from Professor Michael Schill, that explores the valuation of Taylor Swift’s master recordings.

Darden students, and others who use the case, will use it to explore financial decision-making in conditions of uncertainty, especially firm valuation technique. Read more >

6. Watch: Dean Emeritus Bob Bruner Presents ‘Case Closed’

Bob Bruner talking on the Abbott Auditorium stage

Bob Bruner presents ”Case Closed.” Photo: Tom Daly

Dean Emeritus Bob Bruner took alumni through one final case during Reunion Weekend at Darden. Bruner retired last year after 41 years at Darden. He is a master of the case method of instruction, using his philosophy of “ask often, tell seldom” not so much to transform students lives directly, but rather to help them transform their own lives. Read more >

7. UVA Darden Secures Most Top Ten Rankings in Latest Princeton Review Assessment

Aerial photo of Darden Grounds in the fall, with orange foliage and hot air balloons in the background.

Photo of UVA Darden Grounds by Andrew Shurtleff

The Princeton Review ranked the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in the Top 10 in a number of categories in their new report, with six rankings in the Top 5. Darden took the No. 2 overall spots in the categories of Best Campus Environment, Best Career Prospects and Best Classroom Experience.

Darden was ranked among the Top 10 Schools in 11 categories, the only School with the distinction. Read more >

8. New UVA Apparel Line a ‘Full Circle Moment’ for This Wahoo Couple

A photo of a man in a stadium wearing a Rhoback polo shirt.

UVA-themed apparel by Rhoback.

Rhoback, the high-end active wear company founded by UVA Darden graduates and entrepreneurs Matt and Kristina Loftus, launched its first officially licensed college apparel line with a trio of UVA-themed polos named “The Cavalier,” “The V-Sabre” and “The Virginia Gameday.” Read more >

9. Darden’s Matt Ganyard Kicks Off UVA Football Season with ‘Cinderella Story’

Matt Ganyard Kicking Off

Photo: Matt Riley/UVA Athletics

By now, you might have heard about the 34-year-old Darden student – and father of two – who made the Cavalier football team as a kicker. Matt Ganyard also is a veteran who, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in history from the UVA in 2011, served in the United States Marine Corps for more than a decade as a Cobra helicopter pilot before returning to Grounds to pursue his MBA. Read more >

10. Meet UVA Darden’s Doctoral Students

Darden's PhD students

Darden welcomed seven new Ph.D. students to Grounds this year!

Darden’s doctoral program provides learning experiences and methodological training needed to do academic work at the highest level. The program is distinctive in its cross-disciplinary curriculum and this year’s diverse cohort of students have interests that span multiple areas within business and business management. Read more >

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