May 21, 2014
Douglas C. Grissom
AMHERST, Mass.—The trustees of Amherst College have voted to award Douglas C. Grissom, a member of the college’s Class of 1989, the Medal for Eminent Service during the school’s commencement exercises on Sunday, May 25. The medal is presented to members of the Amherst community who have demonstrated exceptional devotion to the college.
“No matter what role you have taken on for Amherst in the past, your commitment and service to the college have been extraordinary,” Amherst President Biddy Martin wrote to Grissom in a letter informing him of the honor that recognizes his “stellar contributions” to the life of Amherst College over 25 years. “Clearly, you are a leader and example for those in your community and for your children as well.”
Grissom is a managing director at Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP), overseeing the private equity firm’s Business & Government Services Team. Prior to joining MDP, Grissom held positions at Bain Capital, McKinsey & Co. and Goldman Sachs. At Amherst, he was a dedicated four-year member of the squash team and also participated in student government, serving on the College Council and in the Student Alumni Association. He majored in European studies and German, graduating magna cum laude before earning an M.B.A. at Harvard.
Since graduation, Grissom has filled numerous leadership positions as a highly active alumnus, including the Class of 1989’s co-president and treasurer, Alumni Fund associate agent and Midwest Region Lives of Consequence campaign chair. Because of Grissom’s exemplary leadership and inspired motivation throughout the campaign, his effort in the Midwest raised nearly $22 million dollars—113 percent of an already ambitious goal. As a generous donor to the college, he also advanced its need-blind admission policy by establishing the Douglas C. and Ann M. Grissom 1989 Scholarship Fund and enhanced its student support services with the Douglas C. and Ann M. Grissom 1989 Fund for Writing. In addition, he holds an important leadership role for Amherst and his class this year, serving as co-chair of the Class of 1989’s 25th Reunion Gift Committee, which has already surpassed its goal and is raising an extraordinary gift for the college.
Grissom’s service has extended beyond Amherst to current roles as a board member of Aderant Holdings, Asurion LLC, CoVant Technologies II and LGS Innovations. He was formerly on the boards of directors of @stake, Inc.; Cbeyond, Inc.; Fieldglass, Inc.; Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co.; Intelsat Holdings, Ltd.; and Neoworld Holdings, LLC. Beyond these commitments, he serves on several nonprofit boards, including those of City Year Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo and METROsquash. He and his wife, Ann, have four children and live in Chicago.
Each year, the Amherst College Board of Trustees, in consultation with the secretary of the Society of the Alumni, selects a recipient of the Medal for Eminent Service, which is awarded at Amherst’s commencement ceremony. The medal was established in 1934 as a means of recognizing exceptional and distinguished service to the college for a great period of time, often in a variety of areas.