Grace Chionuma

There is an African proverb that says "We desire to bequeath two things to our children; the first one is roots, the other one is wings." Education is both the roots and the wings – and this is why there is nothing more important.

Dr. Crawford J. Mims, who is Grace Chionuma's grandfather, recently passed away at 94 years of age. Professionally, he dedicated over 50 years to his work in education primarily as a college professor, dean, and provost, and he impacted thousands of students and families. After serving in World War II, he was able to continue his education through the GI Bill. From this sturdy root, he lifted up himself, his siblings, along with this wife Bettye, his daughters and other family members. The focus, preparation, and achievement that enabled Grace to graduate from two Ivy League universities, Dartmouth and Yale, was born out of that root started by her grandfather so long ago.

Now, Grace is a Vice President at Morgan Stanley's Public Finance Banking division. She has over ten years of banking experience in public finance, corporate finance, and sales & trading. She provides banking coverage to several cities and to education clients across the United States. Since 2014, she has senior-managed over $3.7 billion in fixed rate and variable rate debt transactions.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley's Public Finance group, Grace worked directly with several large institutional investors including BlackRock, Wellington, and Fidelity, in the Firm's Senior Relationship Management group, and in corporate finance advising the Firm's corporate clients on debt and equity capital raises and mergers and acquisitions.