Anthony “Rek” LeCounte (Class of 2021) is Darden’s #MBAoftheweek. LeCounte is president of Pride at Darden (PAD), which kicks off Love is Love Week today. After graduation, he will be moving to Atlanta with his husband Alex, a 3L at UVA Law School.

“At the height of the COVID pandemic, we welcomed our largest class of openly LGBTQ students, and I’m proud to say Pride at Darden’s work over this past year was integral to that success. We spearheaded new outreach to LGBTQ applicants and admitted students that helped to double LGBTQ matriculants from the class of 2021 to the class of 2022. We integrated LGBTQ programming into Darden’s annual Diversity Conference (DivCo), laying the groundwork for a new LGBTQ Weekend for future applicants. We launched brand new official Darden Pride t-shirts that became the most coveted official merchandise on Grounds, selling out in the first couple weeks of the school year. We have members from all over the world who bring religious, ethnic, political, gender, racial, and socioeconomic diversity to our strong and growing community.

Along with the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management and Section A (Go Lions!), PAD has been a defining element of my time at Darden. My friends from this diverse, overlapping network have grounded me and supported me through some amazing and truly difficult times. This week, I hope to pay that love forward as PAD welcomes Darden students, partners, alumni, faculty, and staff to Love is Love Week. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for LGBTQ folks and allies to learn more about queer identities, challenges, history, and community, within and beyond business contexts. We have a variety of virtual events to celebrate some of our most important characteristics: Supportiveness, Compassion, Uniqueness, Fun, and (of course) Shenanigans!

Our programming includes a panel discussion about intersections between religious faith and LGBTQ identity, virtual workout with the Darden Military Association, a Cold Call Chorus karaoke, and a morning hike in the rolling hills of Central Virginia, among others. We’re excited to remind the world that, through everything, Love Wins.”

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