by Abena Foreman-Trice
Gary Jones, a 1974 graduate of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, has received the Charles C. Abbott Award — the highest honor Darden bestows
its alumni. Darden Dean Robert F. Bruner announced the award during
the State of the School program, held as part of the 2014 Darden Alumni Reunion.
The annual award recognizes Darden alumni for their exceptional
and lasting contributions to the School. The winner was selected
from among more than 30 nominees.
"The review of nominations for the prestigious Abbott Award
is surely a thorough and deliberate process with a pool of most
deserving candidates," said Jones. "I am honored and humbled
to receive the award. I am very proud of my Darden
degree and of my Darden affiliation. It really is hard to
imagine that a two-year experience can have such a meaningful
impact on my life."
Jones, who served as a trustee for the Darden School Foundation for nine years, was instrumental
in crafting the goals and strategic initiatives for the School's
current capital campaign. Upon initiating the Darden Principal
Donors Society, he became a charter member and donor, and
identified and cultivated many of the original Principal Donors.
Jones also helped to fund many scholarships and initiatives,
including the Jones Family Military Leadership Scholarship Fund,
the Jones Classroom, the Rhett Classroom and the Jones Fountain. He
was also the largest single contributor to the Darden Class Gift of
1974 — the Jefferson statue, which sits in the School's Flagler
In addition, Jones served his alma mater in the classroom as a
guest lecturer in several of Professor John Colley's courses. His activities, such as working with
Darden staff members to launch the Week on Wall Street, an annual
trek for Darden MBA students, and leading an effort to encourage
MBAs to enter investment banking and financial services careers in
New York City, enhanced the Darden education experience.
Jones is a professor of the practice in the Scheller School
of Business at Georgia Tech. He teaches the course "Management of
Financial Institutions" for MBA candidates and upperclassmen. He
also serves as vice chair and chair elect of the Georgia Tech
Foundation Board of Trustees. Before launching his career as
an educator, he spent most of his career as managing director for
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc. before it was taken over by
"I hope I have illustrated, through my involvement and
support, my love and my passion for the Darden School after 40
glorious years of pride and affiliation," Jones said.
He credits Professors Colley and Bill Sihler, and Professors Emeritus Brandt Allen and Chris Gale, along with other faculty
members, with grooming him for the rigors of business
"They challenged the students every single day to respond, to
defend, to promote, to provoke, to persuade, to dissuade — an
amazing catalyst to build self-confidence," said Jones. "Two
years of that will prepare you for anything."
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.
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia
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