Professional opportunities have taken Michael Erbrick far from Hawk Hill and the Delaware Valley since graduating from Saint Joseph’s in 1991. But even as his family grew and he climbed the corporate ladder, the accounting major’s affinity for the University and the Jesuit and Catholic values it instilled in him never waned. A long-time financial supporter of SJU, though not always actively involved, now Erbrick is working to reengage fellow alumni and friends as the new chair of the Saint Joseph’s Fund.
“There is this element of never forgetting where you came from in life,” relates Erbrick. “College really shapes how you develop and with whom you come in contact. When I look back, St. Joe’s had a greater impact on my life and its direction than many things I am involved with today.”
Living in Atlanta, Georgia since 1993, where he currently serves as vice president and chief information officer for Chick-fil-A, one of the nation’s most civic-minded companies, Michael found it has not always been easy to stay connected to SJU.
“When you leave, your life may take you to a different part of the country… and you’re even farther away from the connection points that would keep you in touch with the University. We have to reestablish those ties for so many people that have drifted away,” states Michael, who has a great role model in his father, Frank, a 1961 SJU graduate and past recipient of the University’s Shield of Loyola Award.
Philanthropic gifts to the Saint Joseph’s Fund help open doors to countless opportunities and provide critical resources for SJU students. As chair of the Saint Joseph’s Fund, Michael hopes to reengage alumni and friends to support the University both financially as well as with their time. “The most important thing that we can do is to increase the number of people who are connected,” he states.
As an active undergraduate student, Michael played on the rugby team, participated in intramural sports, and served as one of the founding brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, so, impacting current students on campus is something that resonates with him. “I had a wonderful experience at St. Joe's and wish the same for future students who are just beginning their college careers. I want to help ensure that the education they are getting will have the same lasting impression on their lives as it did in mine."
“The University challenged me to give back with not only my treasure but also with my time. I feel like rising to that challenge is the right thing to do. I want the University to be the best place it can be…if we can just impact one person, it can have a profound and lasting effect.”