“One of life’s greatest joys is to give away money. And I know, as you all go out in life, you’ll get the chance to do that too, and you’ll find that it’s very exciting.”
Darden alumnus Frank Genovese (MBA ’74), one of the most generous contributors to the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, announced Wednesday, 18 April 2012, during First Coffee that First Year students Scott Caras and Peter Sauerwein are the recipients of the prestigious Frank Genovese Fellowship, which will help propel them toward careers in business management or ownership. The students each received $53,900 to help fund their second year of Darden’s MBA program.
“My hope is that when each of you becomes successful in your own way, you’ll remember Darden and be especially generous in giving back to Darden,” Genovese told the students.
Caras and Sauerwein both said they felt honored to have been chosen from among Darden’s accomplished students.
“It was quite a shock when my name was announced at the ceremony — I thought for sure I would have heard something beforehand if I was still in the running!” said Sauerwein. “Meeting Frank reinforced for me how important the huge amount of alumni engagement is for Darden's continued success, and he emphasized the importance of giving back to Darden later in my career.”
“Frank's story is definitely inspiring — his accomplishments are incredible and his willingness to give so much back to the Darden community provides a great opportunity to students,” said Caras. “I look forward to pursuing similar goals and trying to follow in his footsteps. They are big shoes to fill, but I am excited for the challenge.”
Genovese has made this special announcement every year for the past 21 years, awarding more than $2 million to outstanding Darden students. To date, 75 percent of the 50 Darden graduates awarded the fellowship are company owners or general managers.
“Congratulations from previous recipients have been coming in, and it's great to see how invested they are in keeping in touch and offering career advice and mentorship,” Sauerwein added. “Overall, I'm grateful to Frank and the faculty who took time to interview me and go over applications, and to my classmates who have offered congratulations and support.
“That, basically, is why I endowed the fellowships,” said Genovese. “I want to give people the chance to not have to take the high-paying job after school, but to go out and try to run their own businesses,” Genovese added.
Genovese is the president of the Rothbury Corporation, an investment company in Richmond, Virginia. A specialist in entrepreneurship, acquisitions and turnarounds, Genovese also taught the Darden MBA course “Acquisition of Closely Held Enterprises.”
The Genovese Fellowships are merit-based. The finalists chosen are in the top 30 percent of the class after their first semester and desire to seek employment in direct operating management positions in decentralized manufacturing companies. The finalists go on to be interviewed before a panel of Darden alumni, faculty, Darden’s director of financial aid, Larry Mueller, and Frank Genovese. Winners are selected following the interview process.
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