Stu Francis ’74 Named Class Of 1967 Princeton Varsity Club Citizen-Athlete Award Recipient

J. Stuart (“Stu”) Francis ’74, a captain and Ivy champion for Princeton golf, accomplished businessman, and dedicated volunteer and advocate for sport and the arts, is this year’s Class of 1967 PVC Citizen-Athlete Award recipient, presented by the Princeton Varsity Club for selfless and noble contributions to sport and society. Francis will be honored at the Gary Walters ’67 PVC Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 23, in Jadwin Gymnasium.

“We are thrilled to honor and recognize Stu Francis ’74 with this year’s Class of 1967 PVC Citizen-Athlete Award,” says Ford Family Director of Athletics John Mack ’00. “Stu has left a lasting impact on Princeton Golf and Princeton Athletics, not to mention his unwavering commitment to the University at-large. His selfless leadership and spirit of community have shown bright throughout his professional career, including his recent term as President of the United States Golf Association (USGA). Stu is an incredible representative of Princeton and we look forward to honoring him alongside our senior student-athletes at this year’s banquet.”

Francis graduated from Princeton in 1974 with a degree in Economics, before earning his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. At Princeton, Francis was a three-year letter winner and helped lead Princeton men’s golf to back-to-back Ivy League championships. He served as team co-captain for the 1973-74 season, a year after earning All-Ivy and honorable mention All-America honors. Francis competed in three U.S. Amateur championships, two NCAA championships and three Canadian Amateur championships. Francis was also inducted into the Ohio Golf Hall of Fame.

Francis has made a name for himself in the business sector, advising some of the most well-known technology companies including Dell Technologies, Facebook, Google, Qualcomm, Tesla and Yahoo. He currently serves as senior managing director of investment banking firm Evercore, with a focus on providing merger advice to leading technology companies. He previously served as Vice Chairman of Investment Banking & Chairman of Global Technology for Barclays and before that, Lehman Brothers.

Francis served on the USGA Executive Committee for eight years from 2015 through early 2023. From 2015-2020, Francis directly supported the Compensation, Equipment Standards & Governance committees as well as chairing the Championship Committee. In February 2020, just weeks before the pandemic, he was elected USGA President, becoming the first to serve a three-year term in the organization’s 130-year history. All such roles on the USGA were volunteer in nature.

One of his leading accomplishments as President was helping the USGA navigate the COVID pandemic and ensuring that the men’s and women’s Opens and Amateurs were all played. Under Francis’ leadership, the USGA also worked to elevate the national championships on the women’s side, upgrading the quality of the courses and expanding the tournament purses.

In 2022, the USGA introduced their 15th tournament, the first U.S. Adaptive Open, which supports players with physical or intellectual impairments. A year later, Francis was instrumental in supporting the establishment of the USGA’s U.S. National Development Program, a first for U.S. golf. The program aims to provide a pathway to success in golf by delivering competitive opportunities, support, and training that develops American golf talent and reduces any financial burdens. During Francis’ tenure, the USGA worked to ensure the sustainability of the game through a focus on environmentally friendly practices, expanding accessibility and helping structure golf courses to be financially viable.   

Additionally, Francis has served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Ballet, the oldest in the United States. He also served as Board Chair for both the Menlo School and the Episcopal Day School of St. Matthew, where he has helped enhance educational opportunities and access while broadening offerings across athletics and the arts, alike.

Francis has been a long-time volunteer and supporter within Princeton Athletics and the University at-large. He has been a member of the Princeton Varsity Club Board of Directors for more than a decade, where he helped support the launch of the Tiger Athletics Give Day initiative in 2014, as well as its year-over-year growth. His tenure on the PVC Board has also seen the growth of numerous PVC-based service initiatives, including Coach for College, Reading with the Tigers, etc. The men’s golf head coaching position is endowed in Francis’s honor (“J. Stuart Francis ’74 Head Coach of Men’s Golf”), providing financial support to both the men and women’s golf programs.

At the University level, Francis has been a long-time volunteer with Annual Giving and Class Leadership, served on the Campaign Executive Committee and as a Regional Co-Chair for the Aspire Campaign, and on the Advisory Council for the Lewis Center for the Arts.