Monday, March 9, 2020
David Ferran ‘78 seated, with Paul College students in background

In December of 1977, David Ferran ‘78 was a senior at UNH and happily scheming to travel the world after graduationas a ski instructor and bartender. Then, his father lost his job. His father was a gifted engineer and wanted to start his own business but needed someone to manage it. Good thing his son was graduating with a business degree from the Peter T. Paul College (then the Whittemore School of Business and Economics).

“I got a great education at UNH and was thrown into Silicon Valley before it was called Silicon Valley. I didn’t really know what I was doing,” Ferran says.

His lack of experience did not hold him back. Ferran raised $1 million at the age of 23 and continued to have a successful 35-year career as a senior executive in the semiconductor industry. Recently, Ferran has turned his attention to reimaging capitalism so everyone thrives. His organization, the Torrey Project, is a global organization dedicated to utilizing the power of business as a force for good. He returned to his alma mater on Feb. 3, 2020, to share his experience with current UNH students at the Changemaker Hub.

“Our students are hungry to make a difference, says Fiona Wilson, director of UNH’s Sustainability Institute. “David helped them see the possibility of how we can reinvent capitalism. They learned through his personal story how they could make a difference.”­­

Ferran’s vision for our economic system dovetails with UNH prioritizing sustainability and responsible investing. Last year, the university moved $37 of its investable assets into ESG-qualified (environmental, social and governance) investments.