Happy Valentines Day! In the spirit of the holiday, here are a few things we love — starting with Charlottesville.

Why do ‘Hoos love Charlottesville?

  • It’s a natural playground, with more than 25 parks and trails for students and residents to enjoy.
  • It’s a home that welcomes not only students and faculty, but also refugees. Since the Internal Rescue Committee office opened in 1998, the city has welcomed more than 3,500 refugees from 32 countries.
  • It centers around a unique pedestrian Downtown Mall, with more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants, along with several theaters and music venues.
  • It’s a small business haven, with more than 2,400 businesses with 500 or fewer employees.
  • It’s a foodie’s paradise, ranking among the top 15 cities in the country in restaurants per capita.
  • It’s a growing wine region, with approximately 40 wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries, and that number seems to increase each year.
  • It’s an artistic powerhouse, proudly serving as home to artists from Georgia O’Keeffe to Dave Matthews, authors such as William Faulkner, Rita Dove and John Grisham, and big-screen actors like Sissy Spacek and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
  • It’s a living museum, with abundant reminders of the powerful role the city and the Commonwealth of Virginia have played in American history. The University’s Academical Village, together with Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello are listed together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Copy credit: Erik Duda and Caroline Newman. Read the full article from 2017 and you’ll see why we can’t help but fall for Charlottesville.

Darden’s reach is well beyond Charlottesville, though! San Francisco. Shanghai. And, of course, the Washington, DC metro. We love Sands Family Grounds, our northern Virginia home, and we are approaching the two year anniversary of the opening of this space.

Darden has a growing presence in the Washington, DC area, including two degree programs – our Executive MBA and MS in Business Analytics – an exciting new speaker series – Leadership Unscripted –  over 1,600 alumni and much more.

Looking for even more reasons to love Darden?

We can give you 21! Here’s just a few of our favorites:

  • No. 1: MBA education experience in the U.S. (The Economist, 2011–19)
  • No. 1: Faculty (The Princeton Review, 2017–19; Financial Times, 2014–18)
  • No. 1: Global “Overseas Study” (The Economist, 2017–2019)
  • Most beautiful college campus in USA (Best College Reviews)
  • A “Public Ivy” ranked No. 1, 2 or 3 public university in USA for decades (U.S. News & World Report)
  • Best place to live in the USA (Cities Ranked & Rated)


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