The Brand

Darden is the graduate school of business of the University of Virginia and has been ranked among the top business schools in the world. Darden develops leaders and advances business knowledge through degree and non-degree programs, as well as through its publications and research Centers of Excellence. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Darden has campuses in Charlottesville and the Washington, D.C., area and a field office in Shanghai, China.

Darden’s organizational mission is to improve the world by developing and inspiring responsible leaders and by advancing knowledge. Darden’s values include:

  • Transformational learning experiences that develop discerning judgment and the ability to act decisively
  • A supportive and diverse community that encourages its members to collaborate and excel
  • Enduring relationships that help individuals and organizations thrive

Five Pillars of Differentiation

  1. Spontaneous yet deliberate learning experience
    The thoughtfully orchestrated classroom promotes deep engagement and develops leadership voices. The experience contrasts starkly with lecture-based learning. At Darden, the student is a participant rather than a recipient.
  2. Intensity of experience
    Darden’s concentrated experience is purposefully intense and simulates the performance pressures and analytical rigor required by modern business, preparing students for high-performance careers as global leaders.
  3. Culture of mutual respect and positive intent
    Building on the shared intensity of the experience, students have unprecedented access and exposure to faculty. This combination results in the high intellectual and emotional engagement and creates a culture of mutual respect and positive intent.
  4. Proximity to business practice
    Darden’s commitment to business practice and scholarly research means our teaching and ideas make a near-term impact for people and organizations, addressing leadership concerns now — in sharp contrast with conceptual, ivory tower theorizing.
  5. Honor and purpose
    Darden’s diverse community of trust and inclusion in anchored by a dedication to leading lives of honor and purpose while actively participating in UVA’s Honor System. Here, the bright-minded converge to channel their purpose for business and social transformation.

As Darden competes for the best students, faculty and staff worldwide, we must reinforce the School’s shared values by presenting a clear, consistent identity as powerful as the educational experience we deliver.

Desired Brand Perceptions

  • Unparalleled Preparation for Leadership
  • Purpose + Reward
  • Global Thought Leadership
  • Dynamic Global Network
  • Prestigious Education

Darden’s Marketing Campaign: Put Your Why to Work

The first expression of Darden’s brand is the marketing campaign, Put Your Why to Work. Your why — your personal challenge — is how Darden develops modern leaders. Here, ambition and collaboration catalyze each other, and business and purpose belong in the same sentence.

Because business with a capital B is about value creation — from careers to communities, from eking out efficiencies to disruptive innovations and from granular transactions to GDPs. Value is the nerve center of progress and the soul of meaningful work.

PUTTING YOUR WHY TO WORK is about channeling purpose toward mission or ambition. Think human, not humanitarian.

Campaign Principles:

  • Utilize clean, modern art direction.
  • Use Rotunda Orange as a character in the campaign.
  • Express messaging through the lens of “personal challenge.”
  • Make why an operative word.
  • Revel in brevity.

Darden, in 70 Words.

Use the following overview as boilerplate text for all press releases and pertinent communications to connect with the overall brand.

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.