Catherine B. Reynolds brings to the world of philanthropy the same innovation, energy, and entrepreneurial spirit that has ensured her success in the realm of commerce.
After graduating from Vanderbilt University, she started her business career as a CPA at the accounting firm of Arthur Young and then became the Special Assistant to the Board Chairman of The Charter Company, a Fortune 500 company at the time. As the leader of two businesses, Mrs. Reynolds went on to create a new and affordable way for Americans to finance a college education. She developed a privately-funded supplement to government student loan programs. Through her vision and perseverance, millions of Americans have been able to attend the college of their choice. In only one decade, this creative approach to private educational financing revolutionized student lending and spawned a multibillion-dollar industry.
Catherine B. Reynolds was selected by BusinessWeek magazine as one of the 50 most philanthropic living Americans and is the first self-made woman ever to make the list. Mrs. Reynolds has received honorary degrees from Georgetown University, Morehouse College, and Willamette University, as well as New York University’s Gallatin Gold Medal. She was selected recently as Washingtonian of the Year, honoring “local heroes whose good works and generous spirits make Washington a great place to live and work.” Mrs. Reynolds currently serves on the boards of General Dynamics Corporation and Lindblad Expeditions, LLC. She is also the Board Chairman of Lyndra, Inc., an innovative biotechnology company that aims to fundamentally change the way people take medicine.