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Former Board Chair Griswold Named Interim President

July 14, 2014
The investment executive who first forged close ties to the College as a parent will serve until a new president is installed.

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Investment executive Jack S. (Jay) Griswold has been named interim president of Washington College, the historic liberal arts college in Chestertown where he is an emeritus member and former chair of the Board of Visitors and Governors. Griswold will take the reins from current president Mitchell B. Reiss in late August and will serve until a new president is installed. Reiss is stepping down to become president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Virginia.

Board chair Edward P. Nordberg announced Griswold’s appointment to the campus community and alumni on Monday, July 14. “Jay Griswold’s career of more than four decades has been devoted to business development, strategic planning, capital formation, and service to non-profit organizations,” he said.  “With such an outstanding individual committed to serving in the interim, we have the luxury of taking the time necessary to recruit the most qualified individual possible for the important leadership role of President of Washington College.” 

Now a partner with Black Oak Associates, an integrated property development, redevelopment and investment-management company operating in the mid-Atlantic, Griswold is a former Senior Advisor and Director of Brown Investment Advisory, a former Chairman of Alex. Brown Realty Advisors, and a co-founder and Managing Director of Armata Partners.

His association with Washington College began through his daughter, Sarah Griswold Johnson, a 1994 graduate. He first joined the Board in 1992 and served as Chair for six years ending in 2007. He also chaired the successful seven-year Campaign for Washington’s College, which by 2003 had raised $104 million. “As a parent of a Washington College graduate, I know first-hand the transformational experience that our dedicated faculty and talented staff provide,” he wrote in a message to the College community. “I am committed to preserving and enhancing that experience for future generations of students.”

Griswold is a former board member of the Living Classrooms Foundation in Baltimore, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Chevy Chase Bank, and is President Emeritus of the Maryland Historical Society. He received his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his BA from Princeton University.

Jay Griswold and his wife, Toni Griswold, at Hynson Ringgold House on an early August visit.

Above, Interim president Jay Griswold and his wife, Toni, pose at Hynson Ringgold House during a summer visit  with the Reisses.

Board chair Nordberg has appointed a search committee that will work to recruit Washington College’s 28th president. Chaired by marketing executive and alumnus Richard Creighton ’73, the committee includes board members Larry Culp ’85, Ann Horner ’80, Harry Sears, and Ralph Snyderman ’61; faculty members Michael Harvey (Business Management), Sean Meehan (English), and Kate Verville (Biology); alumni representative Valarie Sheppard ’86; SGA President Connor Harrison ’15; Provost Emily Chamlee-Wright; and Vice President for Enrollment Satyajit Dattagupta. 

Washington College was founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, who served on its first board. The tenth oldest college in America, it was the first chartered in the newly independent nation. As a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences, Washington College today continues its original mission of preparing students for lives of engaged and informed citizenship.


Last modified on Sep. 16th, 2014 at 5:12pm by .