It’s a fairly common alumni tale: A student is active on campus and retains that enthusiasm upon graduation, but then “life happens,” he moves away and the connection to his alma mater gradually fades, along with the wealth of resources and opportunities it offers.
For many alumni, the story sort of ends there, and that may have been Arun Murthy’s story, too. Except fate intervened, his own irrepressible “inner Bearcat” resurfaced, and he became a volunteer leader in UC’s institutional advancement. His story is still being written, but he loves the plot twist it took.
Murthy, BUS ’95, grew up in Cincinnati and as a high school student went to work for a local life insurance company in the late 1980s. Around the time he was being accepted by UC as well as Indiana’s honors program, a leader in the company’s investment division brought him over to that side of the business, which quickly began to shape Murthy’s destiny.
“He said to me, ‘I’m going to break away and start my own registered investment advisory firm, and I’d like you to come with me,'” Murthy recalls. “Then he asked if I’d be willing to stay home and go to UC rather than IU. I thought that if I want to be in the investment or finance field, I could go to UC and already have this good job, or I could go to IU, probably work at McDonald’s for a couple years and then hopefully figure it out. So I agreed to stay home.”
Murthy continued to work for the same company, TruePoint Wealth Counsel, after graduation, and stayed involved with UC in his young alumni years. He moved to Boston in 1999 to work for Fidelity, which was TruePoint’s primary custodial partner, and pitched in to help UC co-ops find placements in the city. After a couple years, business opportunities took him to Dallas where he has remained for more than 20 years. Murthy works for TD Ameritrade Institutional and Charles Schwab Advisor Services as a relationship manager, consultant and salesperson for registered investment advisors overseeing assets at TD Ameritrade and Schwab. He likens his role to being a quarterback – helping his clients grow their businesses with issues ranging from human capital to technology.
“I remember the immediate reaction in seeing that ‘513-556-‘ number when our phone rang -, ‘UC is calling for support,'” Murthy says. “I had a friend who would say, ‘I know that number – I used to work part-time there.’ Unfortunately, I think there’s a misperception that gifts just go to some general bucket of funds. People may not realize they can designate their gift and support whatever is personally important to them. If they understand that their $50 or $500 is going to something very specific that they care about, most people will be interested in giving.
“When I looked at this year’s UC Day of Giving, I was impressed by the ways you could target your gift, the various challenges that could double it, and how much better that is for the donor. Five or 10 years ago we weren’t able to do that and it probably kept some alumni from being as engaged as they might have been. Now you can see how easy it is to make a real difference.”