Veteran school administrator Autumn Graves most recently served as President of Girard College, an independent school in Philadelphia with a 164-year history. Supplying primary and secondary education, the college numbers 500 students and 190 staff members and has an operating budget of $21.5 million. Autumn Graves recently shifted her focus to her own studies. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in the higher education management program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Her anticipated graduation date is May 2014.
During her tenure at Girard College, Autumn Graves enacted many improvements, including building its fundraising program. Her work resulted in excess of $850,000 in grants and made school history when a single event raised $523,000. The new program also generated a greater number of leadership gifts of $1,000 or larger. In addition, Autumn Graves started the Community Partnership office, an effort to enrich students’ curricular and extra-curricular education. The office rapidly established ties to more than 100 volunteer groups, social service organizations, and businesses.
Autumn Graves oversaw the college’s resources and fundraising, working in concert with the Girard Estate, a quasi-governmental entity, and the nonprofit Girard College Alumni Association. She also acted as President of the Girard College Development Fund, a registered 501(c)(3) that generates financial support from foundations, corporations, and donors.
Before accepting the post at Girard College, Autumn Graves served as Assistant Principal at Friends Seminary in New York City, and earlier, as Upper School Dean at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. She holds a Master of Arts in Educational Administration with a focus in Private School Leadership from New York’s Columbia University. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.