The strategic partnership between the Connaughtons and the McIntire School serves as the first major contribution specifically designated for the development of the school’s vision for Commerce for the Common Good. Recognizing the relevance of commerce as an exchange central to global business and society, the initiative aims to prepare and empower the entire learning community to employ commerce as a powerful mechanism for change. The schoolwide effort is designed to foster collaboration, innovation and cultural fluency among McIntire’s people; expand curricular offerings and provide more Commerce content to the wider UVA community; promote discovery through impactful, inclusive scholarly research; and create opportunities for service and co-curricular engagement within the Commonwealth of Virginia and across the globe.
“John and Stephanie’s generous gift supports expanded access to the school through need-based scholarships for historically underrepresented students while also providing funding for transformative educational experiences throughout the school,” Jenkins said. “This extraordinary commitment will facilitate an array of essential, inventive programming in connection with Commerce for the Common Good.”
In addition to funding scholarships for undergraduate students with financial need, a portion of the donation will also sponsor the launch of the Connaughton Speaker Series. The inaugural installment of the series will take place April 28 at UVA and feature a fireside chat with John Connaughton and a subsequent panel discussion. The series will explore the nexus of business and society through pivotal topics ranging from ethics and climate change to sustainability, social justice and more.
Commerce for the Common Good aligns with and promotes the University’s overarching goal of serving as a public institution that is “both great and good,” an ambition introduced by Ryan and reflected in the priorities of the University’s strategic plan.
“I’m deeply grateful to John and Stephanie for their generous and visionary gift to launch scholarships, new programming, and a speaker series at McIntire,” said Ryan. “This is an incredibly meaningful investment in McIntire and Dean Jenkins’ leadership – one that will shape generations of future business leaders who will make a difference in the world.”