Mark Kington (Darden ’88) and his siblings were raised to honor the natural world and to be aware of their responsibility to be good stewards of the earth.
So he and his wife, Ann, created the Joe D. and Helen J. Kington Professorship in Environmental Change to honor Mr. Kington’s parents not only in name but also to honor their legacy as scientists and educators.
“My father was a physicist in the Manhattan Project,” Mr. Kington said. “He died from beryllium exposure when I was young. So the professorship is science-related to honor him but also to honor my mother, a science teacher, who passed away last year.”
Pending approval by the Board of Visitors, the professorship will be established in the Department of Environmental Sciences in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, attracting an eminent scholar who will teach and conduct research in the area of regional and global environmental change, with a mission to protect and preserve the natural world.
Mr. Kington is the managing director of X-10 Management Corporation in Alexandria, Va., and a former member of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors. He now serves on the University of Virginia Foundation Board and the University of Virginia Investment Management Company Board, where he is privy to the University’s reputation among donors.
“I’m a firm believer in finding a very efficient throughput at an institution that’s very effective in putting money to good use. I can’t think of an institution more capable of that than U.Va.,” Mr. Kington said. “The University’s investment management company provides the confidence to folks who give a gift to know their money will be used well.”
The Kingtons have pledged $1.5 million for the professorship. That amount was matched by Sonia Klein Jones and Paul Tudor Jones II (Economics ’76), who are generous contributors to the University in many areas, including environmental science.
Mr. Kington’s gift completes a cycle. The University’s student has become its benefactor, whose gift will have repercussions beyond the University. “It was easy for us to work with the University to honor my parents and advance the goal of protecting the world.”