The top two floors of a 31-story building overlooking the Washington, D.C., capital region will be a new home away from home for the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. This 4,000-square-foot space—comprised of classrooms, offices, and event rooms—will afford new opportunities for the Darden School to expand its offerings in the area. Already, the school offers its Executive MBA and executive education programs in Washington, D.C., and has several staff members in the area working in admissions, executive education, and alumni career services.
The new facilities, located on the 30th and 31st floors of a high-rise office building in Rosslyn, Virginia, will open in spring 2018. Students will then get to take advantage of new two-tiered classrooms, flat classroom space, learning team rooms, open study areas, a boardroom, conference rooms, and office space. There will also be a large ballroom, which will offer food service and room for meetings as well as a 5,000-square-foot rooftop terrace—all with sweeping views of D.C.
The new facility was made possible by a generous $5 million donation from Frank Sands Sr., a ’63 MBA and the founder and chairman of Sands Capital Management, and Frank Sands Jr., a ’94 MBA and the CEO and chief investment officer of the same company. In honor of their gift, the school will name the 31st floor the Sands Family Grounds.
“The Darden School is a special place and has been enormously influential in my life and the life of my father,” Frank Sands Jr. said in a press release. “We believe Darden is poised to be an influential and positive force at the intersection of business, public policy, and leadership, and our family is thrilled to play a role in helping to establish and grow the school’s presence in this critical region.”
The catalyst behind Darden’s expansion in Washington, D.C., is the school’s EMBA program, including its Global Executive MBA. When it welcomed its first cohort in Rosslyn, many top professionals from across the globe were attracted to the offering, and interest has continued to grow. For the 2017-2018 academic year, Darden welcomed approximately 70 new EMBA students. The new facility will also provide space for the school’s executive education program, which will benefit from the resources of the D.C. area.
“The Darden faculty has done an impressive job innovating and leading Darden’s charge in the Washington, D.C., area in a short period of time, and the state-of-the-art space—an extension of the Darden and UVA grounds—will be a catalyst for continued growth,” Darden Dean Scott Beardsley said in a statement. “We hope to spur new partnerships at the University of Virginia and in the region. We aim to attract and educate the next generation of purpose-driven leaders and to generate new ideas that will benefit business and society.”