The Forum | Philanthropy

In Memoriam: Eugene M. Grant

April 17, 2018

America lost a civic leader, generous philanthropist, and distinguished veteran with the passing of Eugene M. Grant. ACTA mourns the loss of a friend who devoted much of his life to philanthropic causes, including higher education, performing and visual arts, the environment, and American national security.

Upon completing his education at CUNY, University of Michigan, and Columbia Law School, Mr. Grant enlisted in the United States Army and served valiantly as an escort pilot throughout Western Europe during the Second World War. He was promoted to captain towards the conclusion of the war.

Mr. Grant built an impressive career in real estate. After the war, he joined his family’s real estate firm, Samuel Greenberg & Company and, among other projects, worked to build housing for returning veterans. He would later go on to found his own company in 1971, Eugene M. Grant & Company, which owned and managed commercial and residential properties throughout the United States, including the St. John’s Terminal in Manhattan, the original terminus of the High Line.

Throughout his life, Mr. Grant held philanthropy and civic service very dear to his heart. He was chairman emeritus and fundraiser of UJA-Federation, Westchester Holocaust and Human Rights Center, and the Jewish Museum of New York. Additionally, he was a trustee for both of his alma maters: the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. Mr. Grant was also a founding member of the board of regents at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC.

His three-pronged description for a good life, “Do something meaningful, be involved in a community, and give love”, was writ large in the values he acted upon through his lifetime of service.

He is survived by his wife Emily and their family. ACTA thanks him and cherishes his memory for his generosity and commitment to improving American higher education, and for all he did for his community and the nation.  May he rest in peace, honored for his deeds and leadership.  


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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