Immense Gratitude Inspires U.Va. Darden Alumna to Establish $1 Million Family Scholarship

25/09/2013

Darden alumna Martina Hund-Mejean (MBA `88) and her husband Bruno Mejean are giving back to Darden in a big way - a $1 million scholarship.Darden Alumna Martina Hund-Mejean (MBA `88)

Established in honor of Hund-Mejean's parents, the Hund-Mejean Family Scholarship Fund will benefit select European students in any of the three formats of Darden's MBA program: full-time, the MBA for Executives and the Global MBA for Executives. Through the creation of the scholarship, Hund-Mejean hopes to broaden the minds of aspiring European business students. "The United States is such an interesting country, with so many possibilities, and I hope [coming to Darden] will open the mind of a European student even further," she said.

While Hund-Mejean had visited the United States a number of times before enrolling in the full-time Darden MBA program in the fall of 1986 as a 26-year-old German student, she did not really know what to expect. On Grounds, she was captivated by the brilliance and eclecticism of the School's students and faculty.

For her, Darden provided more than an excellent education. The diverse, tight-knit community, Darden's case-method curriculum and the practical business experiences laid the foundation for her future. "Quite frankly, I would not be where I am without Darden," said Hund-Mejean. "I am immensely grateful."

As an active member of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees, Hund-Mejean continually gives back to the School, donating her time and expertise. She chairs the board's finance committee and has played a pivotal role in a current restructuring of the School's operations. When her busy schedule allows, she returns to Darden to mentor students on business and career development issues. Hund-Mejean also encourages her fellow alumni to give back in whatever ways they can. "If Darden was for you a turning point, acknowledge it, and help others take a similar path by giving back to Darden, and there are many ways to do that."

Darden Dean Bob Bruner reflected on the gift's potential to positively impact the Darden community. "The Hund-Mejean Family Scholarship Fund will help enormously in our mission to attract the best and brightest students from the European Union to Darden. Financial aid at top business schools is becoming increasingly competitive, and we are very grateful to Martina and Bruno for furthering this goal and for their ongoing generosity and dedication to the School."

The decision to create a scholarship in honor of her parents was an easy choice for Hund-Mejean. "My parents always believed that it was important to instill in their children the desire of higher education and life experiences in different cultures and countries. They were extremely supportive, even though Darden took me far away from them," she said. "They offered [us] a lot of choices and experiences, and eventually both my brother and I found our ways in this world."

Hund-Mejean quickly found her way, climbing the ranks of the corporate ladder at General Motors Corporation, Lucent Technologies Inc. (now Alcatel-Lucent) and Tyco International, and in 2007, she accepted her current position as CFO of MasterCard Worldwide. She still leans on the skills she acquired at Darden. "The School and the environment that was fostered at the School taught me a great deal about how to work with teams, how to manage significant projects and problems and how to think on my feet," explained Hund-Mejean. "I was lucky that it led to a job in the U.S., and in my most favorite city, New York City, but I would have never even had the opportunity if I had not gone to Darden."

About the Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, top-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop responsible and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.

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