University of Redlands

Interviews with Hall Network Speakers

Peter C. Groff '85, written by Jennifer Dobbs

Denver-native Peter Groff ’85 spent his childhood summers visiting family in Southern California and knew he wanted to attend college near the sunny coast. When his first choice school put him on the wait list, he decided to research a college unknown to him but recommended by a friend—University of Redlands.

"We didn’t have computers in fall 1980, so I actually had to go to a library and look it up in a book,” Groff said with a laugh. 

Throughout his career, Groff has found himself taking alternate routes from what he had planned, but he isn’t complaining. Currently principal and chief strategist at MCG2 Consulting LLC, where he serves as a policy and political consultant to numerous individuals and entities across the country, Groff boasts a laundry list of accomplishments. 

During President Barack Obama’s first term, Groff served as director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education. During Obama’s second term, Groff was appointed to the White House Commission on U. S. Presidential Scholars. 

He was president of the Colorado State Senate and the first African-American to ascend to that position in Colorado. He served in the Senate and the House in Colorado, passing visionary legislation in education, criminal justice and healthcare. 

When he started at Redlands, he had a fire in his belly—but it wasn’t for politics. Groff was set on a career in broadcasting or radio. He took the mic at the college radio station KUOR where he called play-by-play sports and hosted a smooth jazz show and an R&B shown known as "the house party” as “Sweet PG.” 

Eager to continue his broadcast career after college, Groff moved to Los Angeles and found himself looking for a job in the nation’s second largest market. He worked as a page for CBS Studios, which was "fun but not a career-maker."

That’s when he decided to work hard, save money and head back home to attend University of Denver College of Law. 

Groff explains, with a smile, that he spends some of his day driving his kids around to their activities. When he gets down to business, Groff continues to work toward education equity, dropout recovery and other issues challenging the landscape of education. 

"Education is the one constant and permanent entity that changes the trajectory of somebody’s life."