Smiley's Dedication to Students, Tireless Work Ethic Lift the Darden School

UVA Today is highlighting the winners of the 2011 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award winners. Today: Kitty Smiley of U.Va.'s Darden School of Business. To see all of the stories, click here.

May 24, 2011 — Long recognized at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business for her dedication, professionalism, integrity, warmth and compassion, Kitty Smiley is regarded as an indispensable member of the community. She is one of the 11 U.Va. employees recognized as a winner of a 2011 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contributor Award.

As Darden's registrar for the past 39 years, Smiley is responsible for organizing course selection and confirming degree requirements. Student surveys annually rate her office as tops in the school for quality and dependability of service. She also flawlessly handles all aspects of Darden graduation every spring, serving as the de facto graduation coordinator, Darden professor Dick Brownlee said.

Robert Carraway, Darden senior associate dean for degree programs, concurs. "Kitty is in charge of our entire set of graduation activities. This is not a normal function of the registrar's office, but Kitty has been doing this for as long as I can remember, and doing it superbly," he said.

Brownlee adds that Smiley's fondness for and dedication to students, faculty and staff is "amazing."

"She has a wonderful way of making sure that all of us, including faculty, meet the numerous deadlines that the registrar's office needs to enforce, and her personality allows her to do her job effectively without upsetting or antagonizing her constituents."

"Kitty has unfailingly delivered superb service to the Darden School," said Darden dean Robert Bruner. As importantly, he said she has mentored, coached and led numerous employees toward superior performance. "Her impact has been immense – touching perhaps 10,000 students during her tenure as registrar, as well as hundreds of faculty and staff. With high confidence, I can say that the faculty and staff at Darden would endorse this nomination," he said.

Another Darden professor, Sherwood Frey, described the extent of Smiley's contribution to the school and the University perfectly: "Many of us find it difficult to envisage the University without Leonard Sandridge. For the same reasons (committed to excellence, interpersonally skilled and externally impactful), I cannot imagine the Darden School without Kitty Smiley. She would do honor to the award and its namesake."

— By Beth Schmid

Media Contact

Beth Schmid

Senior Writer McIntire School of Commerce