Each year, Darden sections compete in a variety events throughout the year for the one, the only Darden Cup. It’s a big deal around here, and we caught up with our Vice President of Athletics, Johnny Mishu, to hear more about this annual event and how it works.

What is Darden Cup?

Darden Cup is a series of extracurricular, athletic and artistic events that take place throughout the academic year.  Darden’s five sections compete against each other for the Cup, and the purpose of the event is really two-fold: 1) To foster camaraderie between First Years, Second Years and Faculty and 2) To create good-natured competition across the sections.

What events does Darden Cup include? What’s the general schedule?

The goal is to offer something for everyone, and we have a really exciting slate of events scheduled this year: Yard Games, Soccer, Cricket, Football, Trivia, Basketball, a Talent Competition, Bowling and Running.

How do you determine which events to offer?

There are certain events like soccer and cricket that are staples of the Darden Cup and will always be on the schedule. However, this year, we took more of a crowd-sourced approach, and really listened to students’ feedback from last year as we planned. After looking at the comments and suggestions, we then added, subtracted, and amended events based the desires of students. This year in particular, we added the talent competition to encourage more participation from students who have incredible and unique skills but who may have not had a platform to showcase them at Darden in the past.

What is your favorite event of Darden Cup and why?

My favorite event is definitely soccer. This year we co-hosted Darden Cup Soccer with the Hispanic American Network at Darden (HAND) and with the Latin American Students Association (LASA). The clubs provided amazing music, food and decorations, and the competition itself was also epic, with one of the games going to a shootout.

What’s your favorite memory from Darden Cup in the last two years?

My favorite Darden Cup memory was from this fall’s Yard Games competition. It felt like there were hurricane forecasts every other day, and on the weekend of Yard Games, the first Darden Cup event of the year, it was raining literally the entire weekend. Somehow, during the two-hour Yard Games time slot, it stopped raining, and the First Years got to experience the magic of Darden Cup. The events (e.g. wheelbarrow race, tug-of-war, and potato sack race) really set the tone for the school year!

What do you think the Darden Cup adds to the student experience?

Darden Cup represents the best in this school and community. It allows students to get to know classmates and faculty they may not have crossed paths with, and it offers a fun release to the rigors of the Darden academic experience.

Any advice for prospective students?

Visit the schools you’re targeting. There are so many different blogs, ranking methodologies, job reports, etc., all of which can create noise as you determine whether a school is the right fit for you. Personally, my decision became much clearer once I visited Charlottesville, walked on Grounds and talked with students and faculty. I hope to see you on grounds soon!

Interested in learning more about life outside the Darden classroom? Be sure to check out our recent Darden experience video, featuring a few clips from Darden Cup!