Setting the Gold(man) Standard
Wendy Schrunk (’07) has always stayed connected to Loras since she first visited campus. It was a visit that she didn’t even initially plan to make.
“Loras was not on my radar at all,” she said. “I had applied to several Catholic colleges around the Midwest and hadn’t made a decision. My mom urged me to look at Loras. I was on campus maybe twenty minutes and I knew I wanted to go to school here.
“There was an instant sense of community. As we walked around campus, people were saying ‘Hi, how are you?’ As soon as we got in the car, my mom said, ‘you don’t have to make a decision right away,’ and I said, ‘I am going to school here.’ When I moved in, I ran into Colleen Kuhl and Debbie Gross, who I had met on my tour and they immediately said, ‘Oh Wendy, we are so excited you are here!’ and I was so impressed that they remembered me.”
Schrunk has been employed at the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. on the Goldman Sachs Asset Management Global Shareholder Services Team since 2007. She is currently a vice president and is the manager of the US Liquidity Business, where she is responsible for the oversight of the service and operations teams that support GSAM’s money market and short duration clients. Schrunk also serves as the co-head of the Goldman Sachs Chicago Diversity Network, which is focused on providing support for the firm’s diversity initiatives.
“My job is really problem solving and macro-level strategy for how we service our clients and the investment operations for clients who invest in Goldman’s money markets, mutual funds hedge funds and separately managed accounts. Making sure we have the right tools and resources and partnerships,” she explained.
Shrunk has returned to campus many times since graduating fifteen years ago. She has served as a member of the National Alumni Board and currently serves on the Loras College Board of Regents. Each time she returns, she is able to reflect on the impact Loras has had on her life both professionally and personally.
“I had this realization on campus a few years after graduating when I sat on an economics panel. I was explaining the main elements that I used in my job and they were benefits I definitely learned at Loras — communicating effectively, critical thinking, problem solving, and building relationships. When I returned to work, I then saw myself doing using these skills in real time. It was almost like a refresher on my skills. And it is a circular experience for me because the skills I am learning at Goldman have definitely helped benefit the College because I have been able to contribute and give back through the alumni board and as a regent,” she said.
Being named to the board of regents was a humbling experience that has provided her with a new perspective on what make her alma mater work.
“As a regent, seeing the passion the administration has, you can see comes from a deep love of the students and College. That has made me even more passionate about what we need to do to make sure the Loras experience exists for students in the future. On top of that, it is amazing to see the level of talent of the other individuals on the board, people who have come out of Loras and what they have gone on to do. That is a true testament to the fact that we can all have similar Loras experiences, but we take them in such a wide variety of fields and professional success.”
One of Schrunk’s best memories of Loras occurred after she graduated. In 2018, she delivered the keynote speech during Commencement.
“It was a surreal moment of getting up and talking about my Loras experience. I sat next to Bishop Joensen who knew what so many of the students were doing next. At the same time, Curley Boo Johnson (’84) was fist-bumping every student who came on stage and was pumping them up and I thought, ‘That is Loras right there!’”
Retaining her connection to Loras is almost second-nature to Schrunk now. She sees an importance in helping current students however she can.
“I didn’t do it on my own and we shouldn’t expect current students to do it on their own, either,” she said. “There is so much that I have benefitted from that to not give back…I don’t think I could do that. My ongoing relationship with Loras continues to benefit me today. It just makes me better.”