The Darden School announced Thursday the launch of the Darden Center for Asset Management, a center that will seek to sponsor research and educational opportunities in the field investment management. Darden Dean Robert F. Bruner said the center’s formation was in response to student interest in asset management and the growth of the industry in Virginia. The research center’s activities will include publishing cutting-edge research, hosting conferences, identifying best practices for asset management, developing educational material and leading student programs in the field of finance, according to the center’s website. The center furthers educational initiatives through its support for the student run organization Darden Capital Management, which seeks to prepare students for careers in investment management and other financial careers. As asset management has become a “critical component of the finance curriculum,” the center represents Darden’s “commitment to understanding the changing dynamics of the asset management industry” and provide cutting-edge education in the field, according to its website. The center will host the sixth annual University Investing Conference in November, and will be funded by private donations. More than one dozen donors provided support for the center’s launch, according to a press release.