Appointed chief information officer last year for Fidelity Investments, Elterich was promoted in large part because of his faithfulness and loyalty to the world’s largest mutual fund company.
Friends of Elterich know, however, that he is also faithful to his alma mater.
A long-time volunteer adviser to the University and supporter of the Annual Fund, Elterich and his family have established a new $50,000 endowment that will benefit undergraduates in the College of Business Administration who focus on management information or other technology fields.
Awards from the Elterich Family Scholarship Fund will be made for the first time in fall 2007, and preference will be given to those with financial need.
“When I was in school, business was considered separate from technology,” said Elterich, who now oversees all of Fidelity’s technology infrastructure, data centers throughout the country, and telecommunications, as well as about 4,000 employees. “To the degree that I can, I want to encourage students to develop their business and technology skills in tandem. URI has a fine, new facility in Ballentine Hall that provides excellent technological tools. My hope is that the facility and the endowment help to attract students.”
While taking this big step to benefit his alma mater, it’s been a year of big steps for Elterich at Fidelity. In addition to being chief information officer, he is president of Fidelity Investment Systems Co. He was formerly president of e-business at Fidelity where he was responsible for 900 employees. Fidelity’s e-business operation remains under his control and he continues to be a member of the Fidelity management committee.
The resident of Canton, Mass. who also coordinates all technology initiatives for Fidelity, views the endowment as another step in his commitment to URI.
“I look at endowment giving much differently,” said Elterich, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from URI’s College of Business Administration. “My annual giving is a one-time event each year, but I view this as a lasting, ongoing gift to the students at URI. I hope this will help the University attract students it might not otherwise be able to attract.”
In addition to his financial support, Elterich is a member of the President’s Advisory and College of Business Administration Advisory councils. Business Dean “Ed Mazze has done a great job gaining additional visibility for the College among the state’s leaders,” Elterich said. “President Carothers is doing a terrific job. He is thoughtful and continually reaching out. He created the President’s Council, which shows that he is thinking beyond the spheres of the academy and looking to build connections to and seek advice from business leaders. ”
Inducted into the College of Business Administration’s Hall of Fame in 2003, he has some advice for fellow alumni thinking about giving to the University. “They should call the Development Office, because Paul Witham (associate vice president for development) and his staff are great. They guided me through the whole process. An endowment is great because you can tailor it to reflect your values and your commitment to the University, and you can involve family members and friends.
“One of the reasons I agreed to this was to show alumni the value of an endowment both to the donor and to the University,” Elterich said.
Photo submitted by Steven Elterich.