My father died when I was very young and my mother raised our family by herself. She still found the time for philanthropy and her philosophy of giving back to her community made a huge impact on me. So lately I've pondered a question: How do I give back to an institution that has made all the difference in my life?
When I was a student at the USC Marshall School of Business, I was given the chance to connect with alums who became my mentors. Eventually other alums became my investors, business partners, and lifelong friends. The Trojan family is real—students who graduate from USC share ties that cannot be broken. This institution shaped my destiny and I wanted to give something back. So I helped launch USC Marshall Partners, chaired the Marshall Alumni National Board, and served on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors as the Marshall School representative. Over the past ten years, I've been an Adjunct Professor at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Marshall and have taught over 1,500 students.
I was so passionate about my volunteer work at Marshall that now I'm here full-time, hoping to make a bigger impact as a member of the staff. In my new role as Senior Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, I have a golden rule: It's all about the students.
We're nearing the end of our fiscal year. By June 30, our alumni, parents and friends have a collective opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of our students. There is a clock ticking in my head. It marks off the hours we have in our lives to do something for others. If we don't help a young person achieve his or her dream right now, when will we? Your gift to Marshall and Leventhal will allow Dean Ellis and Dean Holder to help students with crucial aid such as scholarships, opportunities to study abroad, classes with transformative faculty, and so much more.
The clock is winding down. Please give today to help Marshall and Leventhal finish the year stronger than ever before. I encourage you to give back because alums and loyal supporters gave back when you were a student, and now it's your turn.
Giving back... it's a lesson I learned from my mother. I guess it stuck with me.
Christopher J. Harrer, MBA '96 and MSBA '00
Senior Director, Alumni Relations & Annual Giving
USC Marshall School of Business
USC Leventhal School of Accounting