Office of the President

Jack S. “Jay” Griswold

Acting President, 2014-15


When College President Mitchell B. Reiss announced his resignation in June 2014, the Board of Visitors and Governors turned to a trusted leader, Chairman Emeritus Jack S. Griswold, to serve as Interim President until a successor is installed.

Jay Griswold is a Baltimore investment executive, a Washington College parent, and a veteran Board member who helped his daughter’s alma mater raise more than $103.4 million during the College’s last major capital campaign. In his volunteer leadership role as Campaign Chair a decade ago, Griswold worked in tandem with College President John S. Toll to complete what was, at the time, the most successful fundraising campaign of any small liberal arts college in Maryland.

“We had every confidence that Jay Griswold was the perfect choice to direct our volunteer leadership,” Toll said at the conclusion of the campaign in December 2003. “One of his greatest strengths is his personal experience with the institution. He is a first-person advocate, a passionate solicitor for the College. And he’s just a heck of a nice guy. People respond to him.”

Today’s Board leadership feels the same way. It took some persuading, but Griswold, 72, has committed the next several months to guiding Washington College as it considers a potential capital campaign for the 21st century.

Board chair Edward P. Nordberg announced Griswold’s appointment to the campus community and alumni on 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.”

Griswold, the former chairman of Alex. Brown Realty and a former director at Brown Investment Advisory, is currently a partner at Black Oak Associates, a real estate development and investment firm operating in Owings Mills, Maryland.

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 seven-year Campaign for Washington’s College, which by 2003 had raised $104.3 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.

He holds honorary doctor of public service degrees from Washington College and from the Maryland Independent College and University Association.