Darden Grounds Master Plan, Technology & Innovation

The Darden Grounds are an inspiring backdrop and the physical foundation for the world’s best education experience, making possible moments such as carefully choreographed case discussions in the classroom led by Darden’s top-ranked teaching faculty.

Whether within the Jeffersonian architecture of Charlottesville or the cutting-edge design of the Washington, D.C., area, Darden’s Grounds must set the standard for world-class business education, with connection and flexibility as defining elements. The facilities of a top global business school must connect and energize, and those of Darden should uniquely reflect the School’s values, interests and purpose.

Reinventing Darden’s Charlottesville Grounds

To prepare for the future and maintain top-flight facilities, Darden’s Grounds and green space must meet the evolving expectations of talented faculty and students who seek business education in technologically advanced spaces that elevate collaboration and thought leadership — creatively, digitally, globally. At Darden, we seek spaces that allow for the “illimitable freedom of the human mind,” as prompted by Thomas Jefferson.

We invite you to support the following priorities.

UVA Inn at Darden and Conference Center for Lifelong Learning

The new inn and conference center will provide modern learning spaces and hospitality amenities that enhance and expand the world’s best education experience.

C. Ray Smith Alumni Hall

The renovated building will create a hub for alumni and lifelong learning, honoring the impact of Professor Emeritus C. Ray Smith (MBA ’58).

Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Creating new outdoor learning and reflective spaces and building greater connectivity across UVA’s North Grounds, the new five-acre arboretum and adjoining botanical gardens will transform Grounds while celebrating the natural heritage of the area.


The new, state-of-the-art W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory will support venture creation and bring resources designed to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation right to the heart of Darden Grounds.

The Commons

The Commons will bring together the Darden community, connecting classrooms, updated student gathering and learning spaces, and social areas in a new central hub, fostering interaction and innovative thinking on all fronts.

Advancing the UVA Darden
DC Metro Experience

In 2018, Darden opened doors to new students — and new opportunities — in the Washington, D.C., area. The dynamic UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds is housed on the top two floors of a LEED-EB Gold certified high-rise in the Rosslyn district of downtown Arlington, Virginia. The Sands Family Grounds provides state-of-the-art facilities and dramatic views of the capital region, and additional philanthropic support will expand the potential of not only the Darden School of Business, but the University of Virginia, around the nation’s capital.

Learn more about naming opportunities at the Sands Family Grounds below and contact Samantha Hartog, interim vice president for advancement, at +1-434-981-2151 or HartogS@darden.virginia.edu for more information. 

Learning Space

The new facilities include classrooms that maximize flexibility, accommodate merging technology and learning styles, and foster faculty-student interaction and creative approaches to engagement. Classrooms and learning team rooms offer expansive views of the Washington, D.C., area skyline, provide opportunities for holding symposia and conferences, and are outfitted with state-of-the-art technology.

Gathering Space

Idea-generating meetings and unique events can be held in multiple spaces within the UVA Darden Sands Family Grounds. These spaces take advantage of the 360-degree views of the capital region and facilitate networking opportunities. The boardroom and conference rooms accommodate discussions, workshops and additional opportunities to propel thought leadership while the large multipurpose room presents a signature convening space.

Technology and Digital Transformation

Business and society need leaders who are technology-enabled digital natives. Powered by Purpose campaign funding will place the School on the vanguard of the digital future, turbocharging technology and digital transformation by:

  • Generating digital content for online delivery
  • Developing robust systems for delivering content
  • Building school-wide data infrastructure and analytics capabilities
  • Launching cutting-edge digital marketing business processes
Opening Doors With Largest Gift in School History

Frank M. Sands Sr.’s (MBA ’63) gift will support a new institute for lifelong learning and unprecedented faculty support in the form of 12 new endowed chairs.

A Home for Lifelong Learning

The Darden School plans to modernize its facilities on UVA’s North Grounds with a new inn, conference center for lifelong learning and arboretum.

Alumni Honor Professor Emeritus C. Ray Smith

The renovated Smith Alumni Hall will house dramatically improved program space for alumni events and lifelong learning opportunities, as well as new office space.

Be a part of Darden’s fulcrum moment.