Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Farewell, and thank you, to three Knight board members

March 21, 2012, 10:24 a.m., Posted by Katie Norland

trustees

Knight Foundation is bidding farewell to three key board members this month, and honoring their legacy of service with $50,000 each in support of nonprofits in Miami, Boston and Chicago.

Stepping down are Cesar Alvarez, executive chairman of international law firm Greenberg Traurig; Paul Grogan, president of The Boston Foundation; and John Rogers, chairman and CEO of Ariel Capital Management.  Alvarez, Grogan and Rogers served as the chairs of the Audit Committee, the Program Committee and the Investment Committee, respectively.  All were term-limited, after serving two, successive six-year terms as trustees.

In honor of their service, Knight Foundation will award $50,000 each to an organization recommended by each of the retiring trustees. Cesar Alvarez proposed support for El Memorial Cubano, a monument dedicated to victims of the Castro regime.  Led by a small group of former Cuban political prisoners, the project will create a stone wall in Southwest Miami engraved with names of those who have died. Alvarez immigrated to the United States from Cuba with his family as a teen and now heads the country’s seventh largest law firm.

Paul Grogan asked Knight to create a donor-advised “Opportunity Fund” at The Boston Foundation to build the capacity of nonprofits that focus on producing upward mobility for low-income minority youth in Boston. Throughout his career, Grogan has been a champion of American cities. Knight will miss his insights as chair of the Program Committee, which oversees all of the foundation’s investments in communities, journalism and media innovation and the arts.

John Rogers has long been an advocate of improving educational opportunities for Chicago students. Knight Foundation will honor Rogers by making a donation in his name to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, a private day school on Chicago’s South Side known for its experience-based curriculum. Rogers is a Lab School alum, parent and chairman of the board.

“Nothing speaks louder about the qualities and character of these departing trustees than that the grants they proposed were made to further freedom, equality and education.  We are proud to feel their leadership and to have had them as friends and colleagues,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president.

Since 2000, when this trio was elected to the board, Knight Foundation has named two presidents and two board chairmen, surpassed the $1 billion mark in grants, complemented work in Journalism and Communities with Arts and National Initiatives programs, and launched numerous grant challenges to support transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.