Gift update results in largest donation in Darden's history
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A major gift update will help students at the Darden School of Business pioneer artificial intelligence and build a new residential college.
According to a release, alumnus David LaCross and his wife, Kathleen, updated their gift to the school to more than $100 million.
Their initial gift of $44 million was announced last year, totaling $50 million when matching with funds from the University of Virginia.
This updated gift is now the largest in Darden’s history and is listed among the top 10 donations to any business school.
Additionally, it means the LaCross family is among the top five donors to the UVA Honor the Future campaign.
The month of October was also the start of Milestone II of Darden’s Powered by Purpose campaign.
The first milestone reached its $400 million goal two years before it was expected to end in 2025.
The release says this gift from the LaCross family fulfills one of Milestone II’s top five priorities: to position Darden and UVA as trailblazers in research, teaching and deployment of artificial intelligence and other innovative tech applications in the business landscape.
This money will help fund research and instruction in AI, the ethical implications of it for management, and the challenges and opportunities AI presents for business and society.
The initial 2022 gift launched Darden’s Artificial Intelligence Initiative, and new work on AI will involve both the Institute for Business in Society and the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics.
The expanded gift will help to enhance the Darden Center of Excellence through advancements in cutting-edge research, investments in new courses and modes of learning, and engagement with practice.
“Students need to be exposed to AI in meaningful ways, and there is no business school better positioned to teach managers how to work with AI in ethical and responsible ways than Darden,” LaCross said.
The gift will also help with Darden’s involvement in the Digital Technology and Society focuses area of the UVA Grand Challenges Research Investments.