Guiding Darden Toward Sustained Excellence
Darden’s Powered by Purpose campaign is guided by a dedicated campaign leadership team:
- Chair: Jim Cooper (MBA ’84), founder and senior managing partner, Thompson Street Capital Partners
- Vice Chair: Bill Coogan (MBA ’82), retired CEO and chairman, Firstmark Corp.
- Vice Chair: Kirsti Goodwin (MBA ’02)
- Vice Chair: Liz Lynch (MBA ’84), senior managing director and chief human resources officer, Evercore
- Honorary Chair: George Tahija (MBA ’86), president, P.T. Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJ), and CEO, Austindo Group
These leaders of Darden’s campaign drive engagement and support of the priorities that define Powered by Purpose. They embody the high level of engagement and the incredible pride in Darden that sets the tone for the campaign and the ways it will propel the School. These alumni are leaders who fully understand — and support — the ways the campaign can simultaneously preserve the Darden experience and launch the School into its next 50 years.
Jim Cooper has enthusiastically embraced the campaign chair role as a way of giving back to Darden at a time when the need is great. “This campaign is not a ‘nice to have,’ it is a must have. We must raise funds, we must invest and we must have the capital to preserve the Darden experience that my fellow alumni and I so cherished. I look forward to doing it, together.”
As a longtime supporter of Darden through philanthropic giving and leadership roles that include chair of the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees, Cooper credits Darden for doing much for him and his family. He also recognizes that at the cusp of the Powered by Purpose campaign, the School is on a great trajectory. He believes that a successful campaign will not only keep the current wave of momentum going but position Darden for the next 50 years of success. As campaign chair, Cooper is especially excited for aspirational investments in faculty, students and facilities — three pillars of the immersive education experience that sets Darden apart from its peers.
For Bill Coogan, the role of vice chair is an opportunity to expand his dedication to the School and the practical, transformational lessons it affords its students, which he himself has called upon throughout his career. In capturing how Darden transforms its community members, Coogan reflects: “You come in as X, and you leave as Y. And 20 years later, you are Z, thanks to the Darden experience.” Joining the cabinet as vice chair is not the only immediate impact Coogan is making on the campaign. The establishment of the Coogan Family Bicentennial Scholars Fund and the Coogan Family Bicentennial Professors Fund demonstrates his early and influential support of the campaign’s priorities.
For Kirsti Goodwin, “I simply would not be where I am today if it weren’t for Darden.” An avid supporter, advocate, trustee and now campaign vice chair for Darden, Goodwin recognizes that her MBA experience provided a focus and clarity that she would not otherwise have. “I left Darden with an understanding of who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do and who I wanted to work with to do it.” This new role allows Goodwin to both encourage and inspire others to get involved in the Powered by Purpose campaign and the future of Darden. She is energized by Darden’s aspirations for and investments in professors, scholarships and Grounds — recipes for the School’s continued success and improvement in an increasingly competitive environment.
Since her first days on Grounds, Liz Lynch has served many roles at Darden, from student, Darden Annual Fund supporter and trustee to GivingToHoosDay match donor, parent of a Darden alumnus and parent of a current Darden student. As she adds vice chair of the campaign to the list, Lynch reflects on the transformational experience in which she, her fellow alumni and two of her children have participated. “You leave Darden a much better human being. I don’t know where else you can get that in two years.” This unique experience is what Lynch refers to as the “Darden difference,” and it is what she is inspired to support through her leadership of the Powered by Purpose campaign.
A longtime champion of Darden through leadership roles and philanthropic giving, George Tahija’s newest title as campaign honorary chair is another opportunity for him to give back to the School. “My time at Darden gave me the skills and self-confidence that have guided me through life,” Tahija shares. “But most importantly, Darden helped me find my purpose.” Tahija has been among Darden’s most engaged international alumni and has provided dedicated service on the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees and Global Advisory Council. His generous philanthropic support has influenced the School’s global learning opportunities, increased scholarships for international students, contributed to faculty excellence and provided important unrestricted support. As an honorary campaign chair, Tahija is excited to support Darden during this transformational time in its history — and hopes others will do the same.
Campaign Cabinet Members
Andy Bugas (MBA ’86), Ex-Officio
New York, New York
Robin Doumar (MBA ’88)
John Fowler (MBA/JD ’84), Ex-Officio
New York, New York
John Jung (MBA ’84)
Ro King (MBA ’91)
Mark Kington (MBA ’88)
Lem Lewis (MBA ’72)
Jerry Peng (MBA ’03)
Shannon Smith (MBA ’90)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Bill Utt (MBA ’84)
Steve Voorhees (MBA ’80)
Brad Waitzer (MBA ’87)
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Bob Woodworth (MBA ’73)
Fort Worth, Texas