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UC Foundation trustee comes back strong

Arun Murthy’s Story Shows Mutual Rewards of Re-engaging with Alma Mater

Murthy’s undergraduate career had demonstrated the great value he placed on being involved, yet new priorities, plus the distance from Cincinnati, caused his personal UC connection to wane over the next decade-plus, which he recognized and regretted. He can trace the reversal to April 3, 2014, when then-UC President Santa Ono’s #Hottest College in America Tour stopped in Dallas, piquing Arun’s curiosity.

“I brought my parents, both of whom are UC alumni, to the event with me,” Murthy remembers. “And I thought, ‘Maybe I need to start thinking about giving back to the university — it’s been a while since I’ve done anything outside of athletics.’”

Word of Murthy’s interest started circulating. Before long he heard from a former TruePoint co-worker who was good friends with Judy Pershern, LAW ’84, a current UC Foundation trustee, who wanted to further explore Murthy’s interest in volunteering. From there, his reengagement continued to ramp up, which also strengthened his reconnection with some of his college friends. In fact, Klingbiel, who had been very involved in the work supporting UC’s Bicentennial a few years ago, nominated him in 2021 for a seat on the UC Foundation board.

“I knew Arun’s leadership profile would benefit the board, and I really like the fact that he has lived in different places — outside of Cincinnati and Ohio,” she says. “That broader geographic diversity is important for the board and something I relate to myself, having lived in New York and Chicago.”

Murthy’s term as a UC Foundation trustee began last October, and it didn’t take long to recognize the synergistic relationship he found himself in.

“The experience and passion of the people on this board is overwhelming,” he says, enamored of the wide range in age, professional fields, academic backgrounds, interests and geographic regions of his fellow trustees. “Joining the board has revitalized my desire to know all about what’s going on at UC. For example, I’m learning so much about what UC Health is doing, and I’ve pushed a little further into my own college … I had a nice meeting with Lindner College of Business Dean Marianne Lewis about possibly setting up a program in certified financial planning, a field that has gained more relevance in recent years.”

Given his circumstances, Murthy often reflects on how alumni engagement in far-flung locations might become easier and more fulfilling. He knows, for instance, that there are a lot of Bearcats in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — many more than those who are active in the UC Alumni Association’s Dallas alumni network. He loved seeing so many Bearcats at the 2021 Cotton Bowl, played about 25 miles from Murthy’s home, but to him that just proves the point: Alumni passion to follow UC Athletics, especially with the Big 12 Conference looming, can be a tremendous springboard to broader, mutually rewarding involvement across the full spectrum of the UC community. And noting that philanthropic support is a fundamental aspect of alumni engagement, Murthy can easily put himself in his fellow alumni’s shoes.

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