by Abena Foreman-Trice

Newswise — CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia - 23 April 2014 - Gen Izutsu and John Pruitt, First Year full-time MBA students at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, were awarded Genovese Fellowships — one of the School’s most prestigious, merit-based awards.

Made possible by Darden alumnus Frank Genovese (MBA `74), one of Darden’s most generous contributors, the award and its recipients were announced Monday, 21 April, during First Coffee.

The students each received $59,000 to help fund their second year of Darden’s MBA program.

“I’m very honored and humbled to have been selected from among a group of classmates that are both talented and capable,” said Pruitt. “I’m especially excited about the mentorship opportunities that come with the fellowship. It’s an honor and a privilege to join the Genovese network and learn from him and the alumni. I am hopeful that this will fuel my future success as a general manager and aspiring future business owner.”

Genovese has announced the recipients of this gift every year for the past 23 years. To date, 59 awards totaling $2.3 million dollars have gone to high-performing Darden students interested in business management or entrepreneurship.

Eighty percent of Darden graduates who received Genovese Fellowships are now company owners or general managers.

“I will build on Darden's exceptional general management education after graduation by joining a large but decentralized company where I will learn how to run a business by working in different functional roles,” said Izutsu. “Mr. Genovese's generous fellowship will allow me to seek out roles for their educational and experiential value over monetary concerns, which will in turn accelerate my ability to run a business. I am also looking forward to continuing the tradition of giving back to Darden and its community that values ‘paying it forward.’”

Genovese is the president of the Rothbury Corporation, an investment company in Richmond, Virginia. A specialist in entrepreneurship, acquisitions and turnarounds, he has owned and operated nine companies over the span of his career.

Genovese credits Darden for many of the successes in his life and declares: “The greatest feeling in the world is to give away money.”

Finalists chosen for this award are in the top 30 percent of their class after the first semester. A panel of Darden alumni, faculty, Assistant Dean for Global MBA for Executives Larry Mueller, and Frank Genovese select two winners following a rigorous interview process.

About the Darden School of BusinessThe University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, top-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop responsible and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.

Press ContactMatt CharlesDirector of Media RelationsDarden School of BusinessUniversity of Virginia[email protected]+1-434-924-7502

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