U.Va. commerce alum donates $10M for scholarships
University to match gift with $10M
A University of Virginia alumnus, John Connaughton, and his wife, Stephanie, have donated $10 million to fund need-based undergraduate scholarships for McIntire School of Commerce students, the university announced Thursday.
U.Va. will match the couple’s gift, which establishes the Connaughton Bicentennial Scholars Fund. Portions of the Connaughtons’ gift will go toward the launch of “Commerce for the Common Good,” a strategic initiative for the McIntire School, and establish a speakers series named for the couple. John Connaughton will be the first speaker in the series in April.
A 1987 McIntire graduate, John Connaughton is co-managing partner of global private investment firm Bain Capital, and Stephanie Connaughton is an angel investor and senior adviser to several consumer startups. The couple is based in Boston.
“John and Stephanie’s generous gift supports expanded access to the school through need-based scholarships for historically underrepresented students while also providing funding for transformative educational experiences throughout the school,” McIntire School of Commerce Dean Nicole Thorne Jenkins said in a statement. “This extraordinary commitment will facilitate an array of essential, inventive programming in connection with Commerce for the Common Good.”
According to the university’s announcement, the Connaughtons’ gift is the first major contribution toward the commerce school’s initiative, which will turn the school’s focus to global business and its impact on society, expand its course offerings and research opportunities, and provide more finance-related curriculum opportunities to U.Va.’s full community.
The Connaughtons previously donated $5 million to the McIntire School in 2019 to create a professorship fund.
“We’re at an interesting crossroads right now. The role of business in society is being questioned,” John Connaughton said. “Businesses are being challenged to define how their work impacts all stakeholders, not just shareholders. U.Va. and the McIntire School are developing and inspiring the next generation to create more well-rounded businesspeople who are ready to have a substantial impact as leaders in our communities.”