For a school that has built its educational experience on the case method, attracting the best students in the world is critical. A generous $1.8 million gift from the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation will help bring the world's most promising future leaders to the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
Starting in fall 2013, the Foundation will match support from Darden to create a total of 26 full-tuition scholarships to be offered over a period of six years. Students will be selected for Penny and Roe Stamps IV Leadership Fellowship Awards on the basis of merit and their record of exemplifying such core values as leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service and innovation.
Above and beyond a superb record of academic and/or business achievement, those nominated for a Stamps Fellowship will exemplify a superior level of readiness to share their perspectives in the classroom, get involved with the School, University and surrounding community and make an overall leadership impact on society.
"The quality and character of every student who comes to Darden has an impact on the education that occurs here," notes Darden's Dean Bob Bruner. "The more talented, the more dedicated, the more enthusiastic our students, the richer the learning environment. We aim to continue delivering the most transformational, high-engagement learning experience in the world."
Bruner points out that top students attract top faculty and foster closer corporate relationships, all of which deepens Darden's brand and moves the school higher in the rankings. "It's a virtuous cycle, making it easier for us to recruit outstanding students," Bruner says. " The kind of philanthropic support for fellowships that we're receiving from the Stamps Foundation is absolutely critical for Darden's future."
A unique feature of the program is the enrichment fund. In addition to their fellowship, Stamps Fellows will receive a $5,000 award, provided jointly by the Stamps Foundation and Darden. Students can use this sum during their two years at Darden to help defray the costs of participating in Global Business Experiences, academic or co-curricular conferences, national case competitions, and other activities.
"We want to inspire Stamps Fellows to become mentors and supporters of the next generation of promising young students," says Penny Stamps, the president of the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation. "Giving them the opportunity to really make the most of the many opportunities Darden offers is one way to do so."
The Stamps Foundation also supports graduate students at the University of Washington and the Virginia/Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, along with undergraduates at U.Va., Georgia Tech, Michigan, Caltech, and the University of Chicago, among others. The approximately 122 new Stamps Scholars and Fellows enrolling in the fall of 2012, chosen from over 130,000 applicants, will enroll at 24 universities and colleges across the country. The new students, along with returning ones, bring the total number of students supported by Stamps Scholarships this fall to almost 300.
"We're already familiar with the University of Virginia through our support for the Jefferson Scholars Program," says Randy McDow, the executive director of the Foundation. "From our point of view, Darden's program with its balance of entrepreneurship and ethics is excellent preparation for our next generation of business leaders."
The Stamps partnership with Darden will allow the School to significantly increase its full-tuition scholarship offers to yield the best and brightest business students. The Stamps Leadership Fellowship is not just a scholarship, but rather an opportunity to enrich the lives of scholars through experiences including but not limited to Stamps Fellows collaboration activities, study abroad, research, outdoor leadership programs and networking.
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