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Grace G. Grissom estate bequeaths substantial gift to Martin Methodist College
Former board member and board chair leaves legacy for future generations
“I am honored to present this check for $1.5 million dollars to an institution that Mrs. Grissom was passionate about,” said son-in-law and Grissom’s CEO Kenneth Funger. “Even though she never got a college education herself, her passion was putting that dream within the reach of others. She would be very proud today to know just how many lives her gift will influence for lifetimes to come.”
Receiving the check at the Mrs. Grissom’s Salads Nashville headquarters was Martin Methodist President Ted Brown. “Martin Methodist College has had no greater friend than Grace Grissom. Over the years she was a devoted trustee, skillful chair of the board, generous benefactor and enthusiastic cheerleader. She was also a wonderful role model for our students as a successful business woman and committed United Methodist. The College's current strong position is a reflection of Grace Grissom’s remarkable devotion. We certainly give thanks today that her final wishes continued that same pattern of devotion.”
She retired from Mrs. Grissom’s Salads in 2005 after serving as president for 50 years. The daughter of a Methodist minister, she gave much of her time, talents and treasures to Martin Methodist College, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1973 until her death in May, having been named a trustee emerita. She served as board chair from 1977-84 and was one of three honorary chairpersons of the Bold Step Forward Campaign, which raised more than $11 million between 1995-98.
She and her late husband, Herbert, were generous benefactors to Martin Methodist College through the years, first with the construction in 1975 of the Grissom Gazebo in honor of daughters Herberta and Sylvia, then, in 1984 with the Grace Grissom Natatorium as part of the Curry Christian Life Center, and then, with their lead gift in the reconstruction of Colonial Hall, which was dedicated as Herbert and Grace Grissom Colonial Hall.