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The Batten Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is concerned with understanding the processes by which value and wealth are created in society. As the vehicle for Darden's school-wide Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative, the Center sponsors academic research, curriculum and teaching material development, and outreach programs on entrepreneurship, leadership and values. Its principle focus is on how entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial organizations create and build substantial, enduring ventures.
The Center was established in 1996 through the generosity of Frank Batten, Chairman of Landmark Communications, Inc. of Norfolk, and his children Frank Batten Jr., a 1984 Darden graduate, and Dorothy Batten Rolph, who received her Darden M.B.A. in 1990. Together, they have pledged more than $13 million to match funds contributed to the Center and its entrepreneurial leadership programs.
The Batten Center sponsors an array of faculty awards fostering research in entrepreneurial leadership as well as student awards which recognize promising new business ventures. The Center is led by an executive director, a member of the Darden faculty, and currently is recruiting extraordinary junior and senior teacher-scholars in entrepreneurial management. The Center's work, however, cuts across the school's traditional academic disciplines, engaging numerous faculty in a broad range of collaborative research and teaching activities.
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