By UVA - Darden September 13, 2011 Leave a Comment

I know that the business school application process can be daunting, and figuring out the right “fit” can seem near impossible. For me, as a gay applicant, this added another level of difficulty to the process — I had no idea how to gauge the receptivity of this seemingly niche community amongst business schools.

However, since coming to Darden, I’ve been struck by the level of support from my classmates. I’ll admit that when I first moved to central Virginia from Washington, DC, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Granted, diversity and inclusion remain key challenges within the business world, but I have been continually impressed with how thoughtful and inclusive my classmates have been during my time here. In fact, at the end of last school year, hundreds of Darden students and staff donned “Love is Love” t-shirts as part of UVa’s campaign for awareness and support of the LGBT community. 

Experiences such as these have provided me a unique vantage point from which to evaluate and appreciate the strength and depth of the Darden family, and it has become clear that my classmates truly value individuals foremost on merit, performance and contributions to the broader community. As you get to know Darden better, I’m confident that you’ll experience this ethos as well.

With that in mind, we would like to invite all LGBT candidates and active LGBT advocates to two dinners hosted by the admissions office in New York City on September 18th and Washington, DC on September 22nd. These dinners will provide an opportunity to engage with alumni, current students, and staff in an intimate setting, allowing you to obtain a better feel for the LGBT community and its engagement at Darden.

If you are unable to attend one of these dinners or would like further information on the LGBT community at Darden, please visit the Gays, Lesbians and Allies at Darden website or contact either myself ( or William Gordon ( with any questions.

Sean O’Neill
Class of 2012

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