A Redlands education helped this “beach boy” gain his bearings.
When Doug Grossman ’60 arrived at the University of Redlands, his first order of business was a new haircut. “I had a ducktail like Elvis, but when I realized everyone had shorter haircuts, I thought I better start adapting,” he says.
The changes didn’t stop there. Describing his younger self as “a little troubled” following a family death, Grossman looks back at his freshman year as a turning point. “My first year at Redlands was one of growing up and learning discipline,” he says. “It was a great environment for someone like me who needed to find himself.”
He credits the intimate class sizes at Redlands with helping him learn: “I could raise my hand to ask a question, and I appreciated that personal attention. I would have been buried at a larger school. I went from being a kid to a man that first year.”
Grossman joined Chi Sigma Chi fraternity and delved into his business coursework. His new self-discipline was most tested in a business law class taught by Professor Harold Kirchner. “It was not an easy course, but it served me all my life,” he says, noting he applied those concepts in all six of his diverse jobs, including as national accounts sales manager for Nordson Corporation and during numerous real estate investments.
A self-proclaimed “beach boy,” Grossman enjoys the Corona del Mar, Calif. community with his dog, Buddy, where he lives in a house filled with seascapes and takes advantage of coastline activities from boogie boarding to sailing. He caters to his love of adventure through travel to sites from Napili, Hawaii, to the British Isles.
Grossman made his first gift to his alma mater just after graduation. Fast forward nearly 60 years, and his generous commitment to Redlands as a beneficiary for his stocks and retirement accounts is among the largest bequests in the University’s history.
“I’ve had a pretty good life, and financially I have done well—I attribute some of that to my Redlands education,” he says. “Redlands influenced my life, and I never forgot that. I wanted to donate a sizable part of my estate to benefit young people at a school that helped me mature … It really came back to Redlands.”
His legacy gifts will establish the Douglas B. Grossman Endowed Scholarship, as well as an endowed internship in entrepreneurship.
Sitting back in his armchair, Grossman reflects on future students who will benefit and hopes others will be inspired, including younger generations of Bulldogs. “No matter where you start, you can make your life better. You are in charge of your life and can make it what you want it to be if you work at it.”
—Laura Gallardo ’03