Martin Granoff P'93, the largest donor for the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, has been involved with Brown for years. Though neither of the Granoffs attended Brown — Martin attended New York University and Perry attended the University of Michigan — their daughter Gillian graduated from Brown in 1993.
Martin Granoff, a textile industry executive, also sits on the Corporation as a trustee and serves as chair of the Creative Arts Advisory Board. He received an honorary degree in 2006. Granoff has made large donations for the Dill Center for the Performing Arts and Brown-RISD Hillel.
"To me, philanthropy has always been more of a gift to the donor than" to the recipient, Granoff told the audience at the dedication ceremony for the building named in his honor. "I love to convince people that wealth distribution is significantly more attractive than wealth accumulation."
"All of his philanthropy up until now at Brown has been anonymous," said Ronald Margolin, vice president for international advancement.
Granoff did not originally want his name on the creative arts building, Margolin said. But "the Corporation voted the naming to honor and thank (the Granoffs) for their philanthropy broadly and their volunteer service to Brown," he wrote in a follow-up e-mail to The Herald.
Through the Creative Arts Advisory Board, Granoff was involved with the building project as it developed. "I love the design," he said.
Granoff said he donated "a large gift," but declined to specify the amount.
Granoff has also contributed to the University in other ways. He supports a Brown course on philanthropy, Margolin said. Students in the course — SOC 1870A: "Investing in Social Change" — are given a sum of money and are charged with determining where to spend it. Granoff has also endowed scholarships.
"I don't do only big projects," Granoff said.
The Granoffs have also contributed to Tufts University, their son Michael's alma mater — the Tufts campus features the Perry and Marty Granoff Music Center and the Granoff Family Hillel Center.
In addition to large construction projects, the Granoffs have given money for other purposes related to faculty and students, said Christine Sanni, director of advancement communications and donor relations at Tufts. "They're fantastic supporters of the university," she said. "Brown is lucky to have them."
Besides donating to projects in the arts at Brown and Tufts, Granoff also contributes to non-profit arts organizations in New York City.