In Fords in Four, we ask an alumnus four questions; he shares insights and stories. In this blog post, Greg Murray '03 shares memorable experiences at Haverford, some advice for current students, and the impact Haverford has had on his career path.
Can you recount a memorable experience at Haverford?
Two memories come to mind. On my first day of class freshman year, my bus dropped me off 30 minutes late. I was devastated. Dr. Cox, Headmaster, saw my face and knew I was distraught. He told me to breathe, fixed my tie, said, “Greg, everything is all right,” and he walked me to where I was supposed to be. Four years later, I was captain of our football team. I gave my heart and soul, as did my teammates, but we went winless that year. At our last game, I broke down and had to be dragged off the field…by Dr. Cox. His words that day meant the world to me: “Greg, I have never been prouder of anyone than I am right now of you.”
Dr. Cox, Mr. Nostrant, Dr. Nagl, Mr. Allman, Mrs. Wright, and Ms. Tassoni -- I am still learning from these great individuals who taught me, supported me, and continue to influence my life every day.
How has Haverford impacted your career path?
After graduating from Haverford in 2003, I went on to Albright College where I played football and rugby. After earning my business marketing degree in 2007, I wanted to take the competitive spirit I brought to my academic career and apply it in my professional life. I found that the financial services industry was a good place to start.
I enjoyed my work with several firms in financial services but was drawn to an interesting opportunity in the nonprofit industry at Vanguard Charitable. I can honestly say that the values instilled in me at Haverford—clearly emblazoned on the Walk of Virtues—drew me to this organization which is a perfect professional home for me. Vanguard Charitable was formed in 1997 by Vanguard as a wholly separate, nonprofit organization. We sponsor donor-advised funds, an account for charitable giving designed exclusively to invest, grow, and donate assets to charities for meaningful and lasting impact. I work with financial advisors all across the country, providing them with information on charitable giving tools and helping advisors implement their clients’ financial plans to achieve their philanthropic goals.
Haverford reinforced in me, as I’m sure it did for my fellow alumni, the importance of being a member of the community, seeing and supporting the needs of others…and of giving back. As a kid growing up in a blue-collar neighborhood in Delaware County, I could never have imagined the life that lay ahead for me. But, good fortune and the generosity of others led me to Haverford. It was, at first, a bit of a cultural and academic shock for me—but I was surrounded by people who welcomed me into the Haverford community, and helped me meet the challenge and develop the skills I needed to succeed. And now it’s my turn to give back—which is why my work in helping others to support the causes they are passionate about is so satisfying.
The opportunity to attend Haverford changed the trajectory of my life. For that reason, I want to give back to the community in any way I can—and perhaps help pave the way for others.
How do you think current students can make the most of their Haverford experience?
Meet and learn from everyone around you—in the classroom and dining hall, on the playing fields or debate team, in the glee club—wherever you are and in whatever activities you choose. You will be surrounded by bright, motivated, interesting individuals, many of whom come from a background wholly different from yours. Some will become valued mentors, others lifelong friends. You will learn from these relationships and be sustained by them. You will be introduced to a world beyond your own.
How do you stay connected to the Haverford community?
The opportunity to attend Haverford changed the trajectory of my life. For that reason, I want to give back to the community in any way I can—and perhaps help pave the way for others. I serve as Class Chairman and I am a member of the Alumni Executive Council, Football Alumni Association, and Young Alumni Association. I attend games and various events to support the school.
Greg Murray ’03 graduated from Albright College in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in business marketing. In 2017, he joined Vanguard Charitable where, as National Sales Executive, he works closely with financial advisors to help support their clients' charitable intentions through a holistic wealth management approach, combining his knowledge of the financial services industry with his passion for philanthropy. Previously, Greg worked for Hartford Mutual Funds, RS Investments, and O’Shares Investments. Greg and his wife Becky live in Bryn Mawr with their young son Walker.
Photos courtesy by Elizabeth Sussman and Greg Murray '03.