About Us

Our Benefactor

Julian H. Robertson, Jr.

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Tiger Management, LLC

The Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation was endowed with an initial gift of $18 million from Julian H. Robertson, Jr. of New York, the son of Blanche and Julian Robertson in whose memory the foundation is named. Since the foundation’s establishment in 1997, Mr. Robertson has contributed an additional $18 million to the Foundation. After graduating from the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA and the University Of North Carolina in 1955, he served for two years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Robertson was also a hedge fund investor, active philanthropist, environmentalist, proprietor of world class golf resorts, and vineyard owner.

Prior to co-founding Tiger Management in 1980, Mr. Robertson enjoyed a two-decade career with Kidder, Peabody & Company, beginning as a sales trainee and rising to become Chief Executive Officer of Webster Management Corporation, Kidder Peabody’s investment advisory subsidiary.

From an initial capital investment of $8 million, Mr. Robertson built Tiger Management into the world’s largest hedge fund, with more than $23 billion in capital.

Mr. Robertson also trained and developed a generation of “Tiger Cubs,” a cadre of analysts and portfolio managers, who have become some of today’s most successful hedge fund managers. Today Tiger Management seeds independent hedge funds run by high-achieving young managers.

In 1996, Mr. Robertson and his late wife, Josie, founded the Robertson Foundation, based in New York City, to focus on large-scale, domestic, high-impact grants in education, the environment, and medical research. Among the foundation’s major initiatives are active support of New York City’s public education reform, a leadership-based scholarship program for Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill, combating global warming and a broad program sponsoring medical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Rockefeller University and several stem cell institutes.

In 2000, Mr. Robertson created Kauri Cliffs, a luxury lodge and golf course on New Zealand’s northern coast. In 2004, he opened a second course, Cape Kidnappers, in Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island. Golf Magazine ranked both courses among the top 100 in the world. Mr. Robertson also owns two New Zealand wineries: Te Awa Farm and Dry River.

In January 2010, Mr. Robertson was named New Zealand’s first honorary knight. He was given the title of honorary knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his “services to business and philanthropy.” The order is awarded to those “who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions, or other means.”

Mr. Robertson was a member of the Board of Trustees of Environmental Defense, iMentor, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. He was also a member of the National Board of Advisors of the Children’s Scholarship Fund and Vice Chairman and former President of the Board of Trustees of the Cancer Research Institute. He was Trustee Emeritus of Rockefeller University. Mr. Robertson has three sons and lived in New York City.  Unfortunately, Mr. Robertson passed away on August 23, 2022.

Board of Directors

Matt C. Barr, Salisbury, N.C.
Timothy L. Bates, Salisbury, N.C.
Bret R. Busby, Salisbury, N.C.
Susan W. Kluttz, Salisbury, N.C.
Nick A. Means, Salisbury, N.C.
Dwight F. Messinger, Salisbury, N.C.
Lillian L. Morgan, Salisbury, N.C.
Alex T. Robertson, New York, N.Y.
Spencer R. Robertson, New York, N.Y.
Wyndham Robertson, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Kathryn S. Rusher, Salisbury, N.C.                                 Fred J. Stanback, Jr., Salisbury, N.C.                               L. Lane Wallace, Salisbury, N.C.


Officers and Staff

Bret R. Busby, Chair
Susan W. Kluttz, Vice Chair                                 Kathryn S. Rusher, Secretary                                  Nick Means, Treasurer
Jason A. Walser, Executive Director
Mary Heather Steinman, Chief Operating Officer

Board of Directors

Foundation History
On Sunday, October 12, 1997, members of the Robertson family, various Salisbury community and government leaders, and interested citizens gathered in a newly constructed park at the corner of East Innes and Depot streets for its dedication as the Robertson Eastern-Gateway Park.

Julian Robertson, Jr. and his late wife, Josie, who were the prime benefactors of the park, attended along with Julian’s sisters, Wyndham Robertson of Chapel Hill and Blanche Bacon of Raleigh. During the dedication ceremony, Julian spoke fondly of his childhood in Salisbury and announced the creation of a foundation that would help the people of Salisbury and serve as a memorial to his parents, Blanche and Julian Robertson. Then on January 2, 1998, the Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation opened for business.

Blanche Robertson was active in the civic and social life of Salisbury, being both a founder and trustee emeritus of the Historic Salisbury Foundation. Charming and witty, she said that shortly after moving to Salisbury, she knew she would never be a real Salisburian, but did one thing for her children, “I borned them Episcopalians and Salisburians.” She passed away on December 28, 1993.

Julian H. Robertson, Sr. was a prominent North Carolina businessman. He was widely known and respected for his leadership in the textile and banking industries, as well as the civic and church life of Salisbury. He was married to Blanche for 62 years. Julian passed away on February 22, 1995.

In the past 20 years, the foundation has awarded more than $36 million in grants to 156 organizations and agencies, whose projects address adult and family issues, education, community health concerns, performance and the visual arts, tutoring and childcare, history and preservation, capital improvement and youth activities. The generosity shown by Julian H. Robertson, Jr. in creating the foundation and acting as its principal donor is unparalleled in our community’s history. The gift and vision of this “son of Salisbury” will benefit this area and its citizens for many years to come.

Dedication of the Robertson Eastern-Gateway Park, October 12, 1997

Blanche and Julian Robertson

Frequently Asked Questions
Are grants made to organizations outside Salisbury and Rowan County?
When are grants made?
Grants are made once each year during the spring. The application deadline is typically the third week in February. Decisions on grant applications are made in early May.
Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
Organizations and agencies in Salisbury and Rowan County that are certified as nonprofit according to the guidelines of the IRS and have been designated as 501(c)3 entities. Also eligible are government units, such as schools, and departments or divisions of governmental bodies.
What is the procedure for submitting an application?
The application will be available online beginning January 1st of each year.
To submit the application, follow the directions on the Application Procedures page. Please complete each section of the application and submit it no later than the stated deadline.
What happens after a grant application is submitted?
Each grant application is reviewed by the Grants Committee, which is composed of members of the foundation’s board of directors. Once each application has been reviewed, the Grants Committee makes its recommendations to the full board of directors, which considers all applications before making a final decision. The board meets in late Spring, after which grant applicants are notified by email of the board’s decision.
When are the grant funds distributed?
Grant funds are distributed upon notification to the foundation by completing the Request Funds Section on the grantee’s dashboard. This indicates that the applicant is ready to receive funds, which are then requested to initiate the program or project.
Are reports required as to how the grant funds are being used?
Yes. During the year after a grant is awarded, the foundation requests a submitted report on how the project or program has fared.
What types of projects are not funded by the foundation?
The foundation does not fund programs, scholarships or projects by individuals, or those driven by individual churches or denominational organizations promoting a particular faith or theology.
Is there a minimum grant amount?
No. Grants have ranged from $900 to $1 million; however, most grants fall between $10,000 and $35,000. Challenge Grants are strongly encouraged.
Are Challenge Grants permitted?
Challenge Grants are permitted and strongly encouraged. However, no funds from The Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation will be disbursed until challenge funds are secured and the amount is approved by The BJRFF Board.
If you have further questions, please contact us.