Frank Batten, Sr.

Visionary Entrepeneur Creates a New School of Leadership and Public Policy

Frank Batten, Sr. (College ’50)

Frank Batten, Sr., a visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist, has given the University of Virginia a gift of $100 million, the largest single gift in the University’s history, to create the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

This new school, which will offer undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, will train visionary leaders who can energize organizations, build coalitions, and translate good ideas into action at the local, state, and national levels, said President John T. Casteen III.

“U.Va. began with one man’s vision of a great public university as the ‘bulwark of the human mind’ for our state and nation,” President Casteen said. “It has, from its earliest days, sought to educate young people in the knowledge and skills—what Thomas Jefferson called the ‘useful sciences’—that sustain individual liberty and our Republic’s freedom.

“This gift will preserve our democratic traditions and inspire future generations to live up to the vision that gave this place its first breath,” said President Casteen.

The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy will have a triple mission: to provide state-of-the-art training in leadership and policy analysis; to foster research on critical public problems, such as poverty, education, and health care; and to apply its research in service to the broader community through outreach and public action.

Mr. Batten said he hopes his most recent gift will touch all aspects of civic life. “There’s an urgent need to develop a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders who can bring about transformational change,” Mr. Batten said. “Talented public leaders are needed from a range of professional backgrounds, including law, medicine, business administration, and the social sciences.”