Philanthropy in the Valley: remembering Virginia G. Piper

February 01, 2012

ASU professor and biographer Melissa Pritchard talks about philanthropist Virginia G. Piper and the impact she had on Arizona.

Piper was the wife of Motorola founder Paul Galvin. When Galvin was diagnosed with leukemia, he asked Piper to take on the philanthropic projects he could not finish and taught her the business of philanthropy. Pritchard says that Piper never thought of the money she inherited from Galvin as hers, she considered it money she was stewarding for him. Piper did more than write checks. Pritchard says Piper oversaw everything to make sure donations were being put to good use...and was only convinced to put her name on buildings and projects after being told by her nephew that the Virginia G, Piper stamp of approval would draw support from other donors.

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