Co-Founder, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Julie Ann Wrigley has long been interested in conservation; she has wanted to do her part to ensure that future generations would have the same quality of life that her generation has enjoyed. That was her intention when she went to law school in the early 1970’s.
“I thought I would go into the corporate world and help corporations understand their responsibility for the environment,” she says. “But in 1975, there was no such thing. Corporate responsibility for the environment developed years later.”
Today, as a successful businesswoman and philanthropist, she has found a way to give back—or, more accurately, to invest in the future. She believes that a confluence of factors will cause her investments to pay huge dividends
In 2004, Wrigley made a $15 million investment in Arizona State University to establish the University’s Global Institute of Sustainability. From that Institute grew the world’s first School of Sustainability, which opened at ASU in January 2007.
In June 2007, she made an additional $10 million investment in ASU to recruit four of the world’s leading sustainability scholar-researchers to fill four professorships focused on renewable energy systems, sustainable business practices, global environmental change and complex systems dynamics (which involves the conceptual modeling of human-environmental interactions).
“Most of the world’s population growth will be in urban, arid areas,” she says. “Metropolitan Phoenix is in a desert, and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. We have to figure out how to manage growth better---and it won’t be through traditional means.”
In ASU, Wrigley saw a young research university that was not locked into the silos of academic disciplines. ASU President Michael Crow, also a forward-thinking non-traditionalist and conservationist, was willing to make sustainability a University pursuit.
“Sustainability is an issue that is bigger than all of us,” Wrigley says. “Therefore, it will take all of us to solve it. Here we can think outside the envelope, which is critical to people like me who want to invent the future. We don’t want to be bound by tradition. At ASU, research is defined around the real needs of society. This is one of the rare places in the world where we can solve these problems and do it cohesively. We can create the ideas and provide the solutions on an ever-enlarging scale.”
Wrigley serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Wrigley Investments, LLC, President of the Julie Ann Wrigley Foundation, Manager of Glen Neva Land Holdings, LLC, Glen Neva Land Holdings II, LLC and Managing Member of Wrigley Ranches, LLC. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the E.W.Scripps Co., Associated Bank of Chicago, First Bank of Idaho, American Eagle Group, and Wyndham Foods.
Before the death of her husband, William Wrigley, the President and CEO of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., the largest manufacturer of chewing gum in the world, she assisted her husband in a variety of endeavors, including managing the family trusts and traveling the world on Wrigley Co. business.
Among her philanthropic efforts, Wrigley is founder and co-chair with Rob Walton, chairman and retired CEO of Wal-Mart, of ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; a former board member and Chair Emeritus of the Peregrine Fund Inc.; a former member of the board of visitors for the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at her alma mater, Stanford University; former co-chair of the capital campaign for the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix; a former member of The Nature Conservancy Board of Governors; and was also a state Trustee for The Nature Conservancy in Idaho and Nevada. In addition, she has served on the Board of Trustees for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and is currently on the National Council for WWF and has served on the Advisory Board for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Early in her business career she was Vice-Chair of Keep America Beautiful.
She is co-founder with her late husband, of the University of Southern California’s Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies. She is also President and CEO of the Julie Ann Wrigley Foundation (successor to the Wrigley Family Foundation), a private philanthropic foundation committed to sustainability and the environment, health care and education. In addition, Wrigley is a member of the Burns Family Foundation, which was founded by her grandfather and which she currently manages with her five sisters.
Wrigley graduated from Stanford University with a degree in anthropology. She also earned a Juris doctorate, summa cum laude, from the University of Denver’s College of Law.
- President and CEO, Wrigley Investments, LLC
- Co-Founder, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
- Co-Chair, Board of Directors of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU
- BA, Anthropology, Stanford University
- JD, College of Law, University of Denver