May ’18 Newsletter: Trustee Spotlight: Victoria Harker

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Victoria Harker has a long history with the Jefferson Trust. She had been a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Managers for five years when she joined the Trust – she was there at the Trust’s inception and felt that it was only natural to become a Trustee to show her support and confidence in the effort.

Victoria chose UVA in 1982, in part because she aspired to become a lawyer, and because the University had one of the top five English Departments in the nation. She pursued an undergraduate degree in English with a concentration in Economics. After graduating in 1986, she spent several years working at a law firm, where she had the opportunity to help edit a legal book on business joint ventures. That experience was so fascinating she changed gears and ultimately earned her MBA in Finance in 1990 from American University. In addition to the Jefferson Trust, Victoria has served as Chair of the Board of Managers for the Alumni Association and has served a term on the Board of Visitors for the University of Virginia.

Victoria has been able to share her positive UVA experience with her younger sister Ellen (College ‘88), as well as her sons Zach (College ‘15), Ethan (Curry ‘18), and Benjamin (College ‘20). As a student, some of her favorite memories include watching Speidel, Goodrich and Goggin perform at the Mineshaft, as well as seeing concerts and watching the basketball team play in U Hall. She also had a great deal of fun sledding down O-Hill toward the Treehouse on cafeteria trays. Another favorite UVA memory was created last fall on the steps of the Rotunda, at the announcement of Jim Ryan as UVA’s President-elect. “After serving for over a year on the search committee, this was a huge honor and very inspiring,” she said. “I know Jim will lead the University into its next century with great distinction.”

As a Trustee, Victoria’s favorite grants have been ones that provide seed money directly to students to help them start up small ventures and evaluate their commercial capabilities. This comes as no surprise, considering her fascination with and professional background in finance and investment. After receiving her MBA in Finance, Victoria led an illustrious career as the Chief Financial Officer for several companies. She currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President for TENGA, Inc., a diversified media and digital marketing solutions company.

As she approaches the end of her six-year tenure as a Trustee, Victoria remains excited about the future of the Trust, particularly in its potential for new areas of investment and growth. “Serving on the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) Committee, I have seen what wonderful new areas investments like these can accelerate,” she said. “The Jefferson Trust is a student-facing investment fund and has great prospects to grow well into the future.” She also believes that the future investment climate will only continue to favor initiatives and organizations such as those funded by the Trust, as corporations and public institutions continue to look for areas to “put money to work,” particularly with regard to social justice and environmental conservation.