Christine Gustafson

The words of Winston Churchill have guided Christine Gustafson (Col ’82) on her path through life.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” Gustafson says, quoting Churchill.

Gustafson has used her skills in making a living as an investor to give back to the University, and for her contributions the UVA Women’s Center selected her for its 2008 Distinguished Alumna Award.

Gustafson, whose interdisciplinary studies degree focused on international business and economics, is the senior vice president of investment at UBS Financial Services Inc. in Phoenix, where she manages the Gustafson Group.

Her expertise has paid off handsomely for the University, where she founded the College Foundation and serves as a director of the University of Virginia Investment Management Co. Under her guidance, the University’s long-term investment pool has grown to more than $4 billion.

The Distinguished Alumna Award honors female graduates who demonstrate excellence, leadership and extraordinary commitment to their field and who have used their talents as a positive force for change.

A native of Massachusetts, Gustafson credits a study-abroad program in France for changing her outlook on life. “My time abroad taught me to think big, to expand my horizons,” she says.

That experience and her classes on Grounds deepened her commitment to service, particularly to the University.

“The institution gave me so much,” she says. “I believed I could do anything. It’s important for me to pay it back, for my children and for future generations.”