Media Advisory: Wake Forest Establishes David C. Darnell Presidential Chair in Principled Leadership

Wake Forest, with a $1 million commitment from Bank of America, is establishing the David C. Darnell Presidential Chair in Principled Leadership at Wake Forest University.

A Wake Forest Presidential Chair supports recruiting and retaining faculty who are both outstanding researchers in their field as well as dedicated teachers. For the first $1 million donated to each Presidential Chair, the University matches those funds to provide additional support for faculty.

Darnell, a 1975 Wake Forest graduate, joined Bank of America in 1979. He held many positions over his three-decade long career — beginning as a credit analyst and working his way up to co-chief operating officer. In December 2015, he retired as vice chairman of global wealth and investment management.

“Throughout his career, David was loved by his colleagues and regarded as a strong leader,” said Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch. He often mentored younger bankers and helped them become better employees and leaders. Bank of America has honored their colleague by supporting brilliant and committed scholars who have a profound ability and commitment to teach and mentor students. This is not only extremely generous, but also extremely fitting.”

Hatch, now in his 10th year as president, announced the Presidential Chair initiative in 2012 — an initiative made possible through Wake Will: The Campaign for Wake Forest. Last year, the University met its goal of endowing 10 Presidential Endowed Chairs to retain and reward outstanding faculty.


About Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

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