The Virginian-Pilot
                             THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT 
              Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: Wednesday, December 20, 1995           TAG: 9512200427
                                             LENGTH: Medium:   55 lines


Frank Batten, chairman of Norfolk-based Landmark Communications Inc., has pledged $10 million to enlarge his challenge gift to the University of Virginia's business school, university officials said in a release.

Batten's gift, combined with previous donations, makes him and his family the largest donor ever to the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, said Janet Atkins, vice president of external affairs at Darden.

``His and his family's generosity over the years - their total giving - is the largest to Darden in its 40-year history,'' she said.

His latest gift raises the Campaign for Darden, the school's capital fundraising initiative, to more than $65 million, surpassing its original goal of $45.5 million, Atkins said.

It's also the second $10 million gift from a single donor to Darden this year. Thomas A. Saunders III, another Norfolk native who is general partner of Saunders Karp & Co. and a 1967 Darden graduate, donated $10 million toward Darden's executive education program.

The Campaign for Darden is part of the ongoing $750 million Campaign for the University of Virginia.

Batten's $10 million challenge gift, which will match dollar-for-dollar endowment gifts and pledges from others, enlarges the $3.5 million Batten Family Challenge for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He established the challenge fund in 1989 with his children, Frank Batten Jr., a 1984 Darden graduate, and Dorothy Batten Rolph, a 1990 Darden graduate.

In the past, Batten has said, ``Every business I know is facing enormous technological and competitive change. The future of our economy depends on making companies more creative and entrepreneurial, and on leaders that can take them through extraordinary change. I've always found the most satisfaction in my own career resulted from the entrepreneurial efforts in our business.''

A Norfolk native, Batten attended Culver Military Academy, received his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and an MBA at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

A longtime supporter of Darden, he established the Batten Fellowships for journalists and supports the Batten Media Lectures at the school. He also funded the Landmark Communications Professor of Business Administration faculty chair.

As chairman of Landmark Communications, Batten oversees a range of the company's privately held media properties, including the Atlanta-based Weather Channel and Travel Channel, two television stations in Nashville, Tenn., and Las Vegas, and numerous daily and weekly newspapers, among them The Virginian-Pilot. by CNB