Kitty Smiley's Dedication to Students and Tireless Work Ethic Uplift the Darden School


Long recognized at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business for her dedication, professionalism, integrity, warmth and compassion, Darden Registrar Kitty Smiley is regarded as an indispensable member of the community.

Kitty SmileyNow, the University has recognized her as a winner of a 2011 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contributor Award.

As Darden’s registrar for the past 39 years, Smiley is responsible for organizing course selection and confirming degree requirements.  Every year in student surveys, her office receives the highest rating of any area in the School for quality and dependability of service. She also flawlessly handles all aspects of Darden graduation every spring, serving as the de facto “graduation coordinator,” according to Darden Professor Dick Brownlee.

Robert Carraway, Darden senior associate dean for degree programs, concurs. “Kitty is in charge of our entire set of graduation activities. This is not a normal function of the registrar’s office, but Kitty has been doing this for as long as I can remember, and doing it superbly,” he says.

Brownlee adds that Smiley’s fondness for and dedication to students, faculty and staff is “amazing. She has a wonderful way of making sure that all of us, including faculty, meet the numerous deadlines that the registrar’s office needs to enforce, and her personality allows her to do her job effectively without upsetting or antagonizing her constituents.“

‘Kitty has unfailingly delivered superb service to the Darden School,” says Darden Dean Robert Bruner. As importantly, he says she has mentored, coached and led numerous employees toward superior performance. Bruner says, “Her impact has been immense - touching perhaps 10,000 students during her tenure as registrar, as well as hundreds of faculty and staff. With high confidence, I can say that the faculty and staff at Darden would endorse this nomination."

Darden Professor Sherwood Frey describes the gravitas of Smiley’s contribution to the School and the University perfectly: “Many of us find it difficult to envisage the University without Leonard Sandridge. For the same reasons, (committed to excellence, interpersonally skilled, and externally impactful) I cannot imagine the Darden School without Kitty Smiley.  She would do honor to the award and its namesake.”

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