Class Agent Spotlight: Bruce Jolly

Bruce Jolly headshot  

Bruce Jolly (MBA '67)

Why did you become a class agent?
The simple answer was that I was asked. I think I was asked because I lived in the Charlottesville area and had been a long term supporter of the Darden Annual Fund. The reason I said “yes” was that I felt I had been well-prepared for a career in business by Darden and wanted to make sure such quality preparation continued for others in the future. 

Why is giving back to Darden important to you?
I am a strong believer that there is no better economic system than free-market capitalism with well-run private businesses. Such a system can only prevail, however, if led by those of skill and vision. Keeping Darden and other outstanding schools of business strong ensures this skill and vision.

What advice would you offer a new class agent?
Don’t be bashful. Some of my classmates have not responded, but none have ever seemed offended. More often than not, I’m thanked for providing the reminder.

Why do you give to the Darden Annual Fund?
Enough years of contributing to the fund have passed, that I feel I have now repaid my personal obligation for what I learned at Darden. I now give for the future, so that others may have the opportunity to receive an excellent education preparing them for wise business leadership.

What has been your most successful fundraising strategy?
My class has been out of Darden long enough that we have formed habits: some classmates give like clockwork and others seem to have disappeared. Any success I've had comes from not forgetting anyone. A few of those who hadn'
t given for several years are now back among the participants. I’ll keep working on the others.  

How long have you been a class agent?
Five years 

How do you talk to your classmates about giving?
After 45 years, most of our giving habits have been established. I see my role as primarily one of "being there." I try to remind my classmates of the School, explain the continuing need, show understanding of whatever their situation and express appreciation for their gifts.

What have you found is the best way to stay connected with your classmates?
Darden provides great assistance with a regular mailing program. The Annual Fund office makes excellent suggestions as to wording, but class agents are allowed to tailor the content to fit our class. Beyond that, I generally prefer emails due to the busy schedules of classmates. Toward the end of the fund year, I've been known to resort to the telephone.

Why did you choose Darden?
On spring break during my final year at Dartmouth, the closest ride I could find to my home in West Virginia brought me to Charlottesville. I had time to walk to the U.Va. Lawn and visit the Rotunda. It was "love at first sight," and I decided to attend graduate school at the University of Virginia.

What sets Darden apart from other graduate business schools?
Again, a simple answer: "Thomas Jefferson." I have worked with many other MBAs and have friends who have attended all the leading schools. The other schools have good faculties, excellent leadership and teaching methods that seem to work. What sets the University of Virginia apart is the inspiration provided by the founder. I believe that his spirit has always been present at Darden and will be a major factor in the continuing success of the School and its graduates.

divider 480

If you wish to volunteer as a class agent or have questions about ways to volunteer for Darden, please contact us at

top of page