Grace Isford '15 Named 2024 Commencement Speaker

Grace Isford '15 Named 2024 Commencement Speaker

Sacred Heart Greenwich announced today that Grace Isford '15, an accomplished early-stage venture capitalist, recently named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 list for Venture Capital and influential figure in the technology investment world, will deliver the 175th commencement address at the Class of 2024 graduation ceremony on June 7, 2024.

Isford earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University in 2019, where she excelled as a Mayfield Fellow, was the President of Stanford Women in Business (Stanford’s largest pre-professional organization for women), and conducted research as a Principled Entrepreneurial and Action Knowledge researcher.

Recently named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 Venture Capital List, Isford stands as a trailblazer among young investors supporting next-generation startups. In 2022, she made history as the youngest partner at Lux Capital, a leading venture firm dedicated to the convergence of technology with hard sciences. Her exceptional leadership at Lux is highlighted by sourcing and leading eight key investments, notably Runway, a generative AI video platform, achieving a remarkable valuation of $1.5 billion, and the founding round of Sakana AI, building nature-inspired foundation AI models led by an ex-Google team in Tokyo, Japan. Isford also played a pivotal role in the success of LangChain, an AI infrastructure company based on an open-source project for developing applications using large language models. 

"We are honored to welcome Grace Isford back home to Sacred Heart Greenwich as our commencement speaker. Her remarkable achievements in the field of venture capital, particularly in cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, serve as an inspiration to our graduating class. We look forward to the valuable insights she will share with our students as they embark on their journeys beyond Sacred Heart Greenwich," said Michael F. Baber, President of Sacred Heart Greenwich.

Before Lux Capital, Isford served as a principal at Canvas Ventures, deploying $100 million in capital and closely working with a portfolio of 10 companies. She initiated her venture capital journey while completing her Master's Degree at Stanford University. She also worked at Handshake, a LinkedIn platform for college students, and at the Stanford Management Company, Stanford’s endowment.

“I am deeply humbled to have the opportunity to address the graduating class of 2024 and share my journey investing in groundbreaking technology,” said Grace Isford, ‘15.  “It's a privilege to inspire and empower female leaders who are inventing the future, and I am excited to celebrate this significant milestone with the incredible Sacred Heart Greenwich graduating class."