Alumnus Frank Batten Sr. Gives $60 Million To Darden, Largest Gift
Ever To A Graduate School Of Business
Dec. 10, 1999 -- The
Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University
of Virginia has received the largest gift ever contributed to a
business school. The $60 million gift is from University alumnus
Frank Batten Sr., the retired chairman of Landmark Communications,
Inc., an international media company whose broad holdings in electronic
and print media include The Weather Channel in Atlanta and The Virginian-Pilot
Friday by Darden School Dean Edward A. Snyder, Batten's gift propelled
the Campaign for the University of Virginia beyond its $1 billion
goal. To date, the fund-raising effort has received nearly $1.036
billion in gifts, pledges, and deferred commitments. The Batten
gift brings Darden's campaign total to $182 million, well above
its goal of $100 million, and increases the schools endowment
by 37 percent.
Darden's programs in entrepreneurial leadership, Batten's gift will
have far-reaching economic impact in the United States and abroad,
Snyder said. "It provides the resources to allow the school
to be a powerful agent for the development of new sources and methods
of value creation."
foundational center of those resources will be the Batten Institute,
which becomes operational Jan. 1, 2000. The Institute succeeds the
Batten Center, established early in the campaign with a $13.5 million
challenge gift from Batten and his family, and will build on its
successes. Funds from the gift already have been earmarked for a
number of purposes. These include:
five new endowed professorships,
a 75 percent increase in endowed scholarship resources,
a fellows program to bring corporate executives to the school,
a venture capital fund to allow students and faculty to test entrepreneurial
principles in real-world situations.
also will create an office in Northern Virginia that will offer
a broad array of programs to entrepreneurial firms in a region that
Snyder calls "the nation's hotbed of innovation."
graduate of the University's College of Arts and Sciences and a
long-time benefactor of the Darden School, Batten said his aim in
making this gift is "to challenge and enable Darden to become a
global leader in the new entrepreneurial economy."
in firms both large and small are the drivers of innovation and
economic growth, and they are providing America with a powerful
competitive advantage," Batten said. "Darden now has the resources
to become a world-class educator and knowledge resource for the
entrepreneurial economy. Thomas Jefferson, himself an inventor and
entrepreneur, would have insisted on nothing less."
out that new businesses are creating more than a million jobs a
year and that the nation will set a record of more than $50 billion
in initial public offerings in 1999, Snyder said the region stretching
from Baltimore to Charlotte, N.C., is superbly positioned to be
the spine of the nation's most intense entrepreneurial activity.
"should be its heart," said the dean. "We can do this by leveraging
Darden's leadership on such transformational business issues as
diversity, innovation, e-business, strategic alliances and sustainability,
and by tapping the expertise resident in other schools throughout
new Batten Institute will set out to multiply the achievements of
the Batten Center, including the Charlottesville Venture Forum as
well as other similar programs that bring together entrepreneurs
and venture capital firms. The Center also publishes the Journal
of Business Venturing, an authoritative research journal that
focuses on the fields of entrepreneurship, new business development,
technology and innovation.
is fitting that the University has reached its milestone as the
result of such a remarkable gift from Frank Batten," said University
President John T. Casteen III. "Our campaign had an historic beginning
-- the Clifton Waller Barrett library of American rare books
manuscripts -- that established the University as a premier center
for the study of American literature. We have surpassed the $1 billion
mark with Mr. Batten's equally revolutionary endowment that will
recast business education. We are deeply grateful for Mr. Batten's
leadership and this extraordinary vote of confidence in our faculty
and in our students."
Campaign for the University of Virginia was launched on Oct. 6,
1995, with an initial goal of $750 million. In February of 1998,
the goal was increased to $1 billion and extended to the end of
Institute's new board of directors will include Batten's son, Frank
Batten Jr., a 1984 graduate of the Darden School and the current
chairman of Landmark Communications.
more information, contact Phil Giaramita, vice president/director
of public relations, at the Darden School at (804) 924-3220. A photo
of Mr. Batten can be e-mailed to you. Call Karen Asher in the U.Va.
News Office at (804) 924-3801.
Carol Wood, (804) 924-6189