Trustee Spotlight: Hanson Slaughter

Hanson Slaughter (COM ’94) joined the Jefferson Trust (the “Trust”) in the 2017-2018 academic year. The impetus for Hanson joining the Trust dates back to his undergraduate years when he approached Alumni Hall for a loan for one of his extracurricular activities. After a meeting with several people regarding the nature and use of the loan, Alumni Hall funded the request, which Hanson ensured was paid back prior to graduation.

As the University continues to grow, Hanson feels strongly about having an accessible resource where those affiliated with UVA may seek reasonable funding for projects that demonstrate creativity and ingenuity, which promote intellectual engagement and the advancement of UVA’s mission as a preeminent institution of higher learning. This passion for grant performance and organizational growth has led Hanson to serve on both the Oversight Committee and Development Committee of the Trust, where he now serves as Chair. Hanson is also a co-chair of his class reunion giving committee.

Hanson is a Managing Director with 1919 Investment Counsel, a boutique investment advisory firm focused on high-net-worth, family office, and institutional clients, for which he opened the Birmingham office in 2015. Previously, Hanson was the President of Trust Company of Sterne Agee and head of the family office group, which he began in 2011. Hanson’s personal and professional knowledge of planned giving and his work developing philanthropic strategies have been a great benefit to the University and the Jefferson Trust.

Hanson is a native of Birmingham, Alabama where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and two children. He also serves on the boards of CommerceOne Bank, Indian Springs School (Chair, Stewardship & Planned Giving), and the Sterne Agee Charitable Foundation (President). He is a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham and past Chairman of the Birmingham Botanical Society.

Trustee Spotlight: Victoria Harker

Victoria HarkerVictoria 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.

Trustee Spotlight: Grace Hobby Grundy

All Jefferson Trust trustees are generous community leaders, but Grace Hobby Grundy (SEAS ’12) may have the most interesting volunteer affiliation of all—she’s a member of the Mutton Bustin’ Committee.  Grace serves on the Houston Rodeo’s Mutton Bustin’ Committee, which prepares 5 year olds to suit up for the ultimate Texan adrenaline rush—sheep riding! She is not only true to her native Texas, she is also true to the University.  As a fourth year, she served as a class trustee and just completed her fifth year of service as a post-grad class trustee.  As an active member of the Jefferson Trust since 2012, Grace has served on the Grants Committee and led the committee as Chair this past year.

Grace is connected to the University through her classmates, whom she describes as incredible change makers; she also shares family connections, as the daughter, sister, wife, cousin, niece and sister-in-law to fellow Hoos. She says that as a trustee her connections to the University have expanded. Now she is more than a member of the SEAS class of 2012 and more than a member of a family of alums. “Working as a trustee with other UVA alums and parents has brought me into every class and school within UVA. As a trustee, I am called back to the University repeatedly to hear from deans, professors and students. I see the power and drive within the University that I didn’t fully grasp as an undergrad.”

One of the highlights of being a trustee is that “The Trust has a front row view to what is happening at the University. We see applicants with projects in early stages that often have not yet been made public to the University community. As a trustee, I have a voice in my financial influence at the University.”  She notes, “The Trust allows trustees to stay connected to their donations, their schools and with fellow trustees.”  From Grace Hobby Grundy’s front row seat, she states that at the University of Virginia “Times are good and the future is bright!”