Oliver 'Skip' Grant: Biographical Sketch

The story of Oliver "Skip" Grant has been chronicled in the Washington Post, Independent School magazine, and other publications. What follows below is a brief biographical sketch of Skip Grant.

A lifelong resident of the Washington, DC, area, Mr. Grant graduated from DC's Dunbar High School in the mid 1950s. Grant's interest in athletics was evident from an early age; at Dunbar, he competed in basketball, football, and track, among other sports. Summers often found Grant playing pick-up basketball on courts throughout the city. Mr. Grant likes to tell of the occasions when he competed on the hardcourt against future NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor.

Enrolled in DC Teachers' College and working a variety of jobs, Skip Grant married Catherine Grant in the mid-1950s. They had three children in the late 1950s and early 1960s: Eric (a 1975 St. Albans graduate), Tracy, and Lynn. After working for 14 years at the Smithsonian Institution as a messenger, clerk, and offset printer, Grant took a job with the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) as an Assistant Athletic Director and later Athletic Director. He also coached football, basketball, and track with the CYO, and volunteered as a swimming coach with the Takoma Smim Team.

While coaching swimming in the early 1970s, Grant became acquainted with St. Albans teacher and swim coach Tom Soles, who recommended that Grant come to St. Albans to coach swimming. Soles introduced Grant to Canon Martin, the Headmaster of the School, and the rest, as they say, is history. Canon Martin hired Grant and a lifelong marriage between Skip Grant and St. Albans was formed.

At St. Albans, Grant coached swimming, cross-country, and track and field. He became Athletic Director in 1985 and took over the Risk Program in 1975 when Brooks Johnson, the Program's founder, left St. Albans to coach track at the college level. During his 23 years on the St. Albans faculty, Grant was known for his inspirational speeches, integrity, wisdom, and class, among other virtues. Skip Grant's impact on St. Albans was so profound that the School has honored Grant with the following: a "Skip Grant Day" upon his retirement in 1998, the naming of a St. Albans field "Grant Meadow," an annual 4K Skip Grant Run/Walk on campus, the renaming of the Risk Program in his honor, and the naming of the St. Albans crew team's boat (the shell is called The Skip Grant).

Grant has served on the Governing Board of St. Albans School and was the head of the Board's Diversity Committee. He and his wife of nearly 50 years, Catherine, live in Silver Spring.

St. Albans School, Mount St. Alban, Washington, DC 20016, 202-537-6435