When Alvin Marley received The Consortium’s Wallace L. Jones Alumni Lifetime Achieve Award in 2013, he stood at the podium in New Orleans to accept it and was amazed at the energy pouring toward him from the students in the audience.
“Whatever they were giving the students, I wish I could put it in a bottle. There was a high spirit there,” Marley said. “It was amazing for me to witness that.”
For him, it was a clear reminder that the spirit and mission of The Consortium was alive and well. That spirit is what has kept him engaged with The Consortium for more than 43 years as a high-end donor and member of the Eagle Club.
Still Serving the Mission
He’s also satisfied that the mission of The Consortium is still being served so many years after he left school. “I still consider it to be good that we bring in 400 students among the 18 schools, versus the six schools when I entered,” Marley said. “It says something that it’s still doing its mission 43 years after I graduated.”
As a member of the fourth class of Consortium students, Marley received his MBA in 1973 from Indiana University-Bloomington, but not before serving three and a half years in the U.S. Air Force as a mathematician analyst, testing the effectiveness of weapons against various targets.
It was while serving in the Air Force that he first heard of The Consortium. A friend who was applying to law school programs had picked up a flier about The Consortium during his research, knowing Marley was interested in a business education. After applying and being accepted at Indiana and The Consortium, Marley was granted an early discharge — as a captain — in late 1971. He dove into Indiana’s MBA program immediately, enrolling in January 1972.
“The Consortium was a godsend,” Marley said. “I didn’t have to have a business background. It gave me the ability to translate a mathematical set of skills to business. It gave me the opportunity.”
Honored at Indiana for Achievement
Forty-three years after receiving his MBA, Marley was back at Indiana University on April 8 to accept honors for professional achievement. He was among six graduates of the Kelley School of Business’ “Academy of Alumni Fellows.”
The honor was particularly touching for Marley, who was reunited with three of his 1973 IU classmates (and Consortium fellows) — Paul Malone, John Jones and Donald Trapp — who returned to be on hand for Marley’s honor.
“I was just so glad to see them there,” Marley said. “It was wonderful to be honored by the Kelley alumni association and it was also great that I had a community of Consortium students that I’d gone to school with to be there with me.”
Since 2013, Marley has been CEO of Lombardia Capital Partners in Chicago, a minority-owned investment firm managing institutional investments. He has spent his career in investment banking. His first job out of Indiana was with First National Bank of Chicago as a securities analyst. Later, the investment side of the organization became Brinson Partners, then Swiss Bank, then UBS.
“I was essentially with the same organization for 30 years, but we changed our name,” said Marley, who left in 2004 to join the precursor company to Lombardia.
Today, Marley says the mission of The Consortium is worth supporting.
“It begins with recognizing The Consortium with relation to their success. I recognize it as important, so therefore, I do want to give to causes that are positive and help others, but have also helped me,” Marley said. “I’d like to see the organization continue. If not for it, maybe I’d have gone to business school five years later.”