Academical Village: Tayloe Murphy Virginia


To bring students and faculty closer together for an exchange of ideas and thought leadership, Darden launched a new program this semester called “Academical Village.” The most recent presentation by Darden Professor Greg Fairchild focused on the activities and initiatives of the venerable Tayloe Murphy Center Virginia.

First established at Darden in 1965 by W. Tayloe Murphy, then- Virginia treasurer under Governor Colgate Darden, the Center was reorganized in 1987 to foster new businesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia and to re-focus on commercial development in the State. Recognizing a need for international connections in the State as well, half of the Center’s endowment was designated for international endeavors, and the other half for Virginia community and economic development.

Fairchild says one of his goals for the Center is to connect Darden to the mission of economic development. In fact, the Center’s mission statement is to facilitate community competitiveness through development of practical research on what makes communities globally competitive. He says he’s ‘planting flags’ around the State to designate areas with which the Center might work. Darden may also create a new community development immersion course (the entrepreneur as change agent).

Fairchild encouraged students who are interested in working in the areas of entrepreneurism and finance to let him know. He said the Center will work with students to create a number of community-financed initiatives throughout the Commonwealth.

Citing a talk he gave to gifted and talented high school students in Danville last summer, Fairchild said that of the 60 students present, only two said they would stay in Danville after graduation. “One of the biggest exports of a community like Danville is its people,” says Fairchild. “We would like to develop Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) to make a difference in the economy of Virginia, where there are virtually none at this time,” he says.

Sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs and five of Darden’s Centers of Excellence (The Batten Institute, Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics, Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, Tayloe Murphy International and Tayloe Murphy Virginia), and led by Darden’s Associate Dean for Faculty Research Susan Chaplinsky, this program offers multiple opportunities throughout the school year for students and faculty to meet and discuss research topics, such as innovation and entrepreneurship, globalization, ethics and economic development in emerging markets.
Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing leaders in the world of practical affairs.

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