Darnall Alumni Fellows Program Enhances Student Career Preparation

Trustee Matthew S. Darnall ’85 and Jennifer Lindamood Darnall ’85 have made an endowment gift to establish the Matthew S. and Jennifer L. Darnall

Alumni Fellows Program at DePauw. Elisa Villanueva Beard ’98 and Dennis B. Kelley ’72 visited campus in September 2016 as the first Darnall Alumni Fellows. “This program is designed to access the expertise of the University’s robust alumni network to address student career preparation and strengthen relationships between DePauw, its students and alumni,” Matt says. 

Elisa Villanueva Beard met with students to discuss her passion for achieving equity and access to quality education as CEO of Teach for America (TFA), an organization that enlists top college graduates and professionals to commit to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. Beard’s journey with TFA began in Phoenix, as a 1998 corps member. She joined the organization’s staff in 2001 as executive director of the Rio Grande Valley region, became chief operating officer in 2005 and led the organization’s expansion from 22 regions to 48. Under her leadership as CEO, Teach For America currently impacts more than 750,000 students in more than 2,600 schools. DePauw is regularly among the nation’s top contributors to TFA and has had almost 200 alumni serve as corps members since the program’s inception in 1990. 

Dennis Kelley is president and CEO of global supply and distribution company Pacific World Trade, Inc. A division of the company, Pacific Nuclear Solutions, developed state-of-the-art nuclear waste treatment technologies. The company’s product can turn hazardous and radioactive liquids into solid material that can be disposed of more safely. Kelley credits his study abroad experiences while a DePauw student as a major influence in his international career. He delivered a presentation titled “The DePauw International Study Experience: How it Led to a Lifelong Career.”

Distinguished leaders in a wide variety of fields, Darnall Alumni Fellows give presentations about how a liberal arts education prepared them for excellence in their fields and engage in networking events with current students. 

Matt Darnall earned an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago and is a managing director of Goldman Sachs, Inc. Jennifer Lindamood Darnall is actively engaged in philanthropic work focused on children and families. The Darnall and Lindamood families represent longstanding legacies at DePauw, including Matt and Jennifer’s daughter, Nicole ’16, representing the sixth generation of family members to attend the University. The Darnalls said internships and experiential-learning opportunities were especially important to their success. They created the Darnall Alumni Fellows Program to enhance DePauw’s career-focused, experiential education offerings.


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