Fetzer '61 celebrated for decades of community service
up, Wade Fetzer '61 watched his father give back to
the community through volunteer service to a number of organizations.
So when a family friend tapped Fetzer himself for the junior
board of Chicago's Metropolitan Family Services just a few
years after his Kellogg School graduation, Fetzer leaped at
the chance, even though he knew little about the organization's
the time I didn't really know what family services or social
work was," reflects Fetzer, a retired partner with Goldman
Sachs. "But I quickly became impressed and excited with
the work they were doing." The work included counseling
and support services to assist some 55,000 individuals and
families through difficult times each year.
40 years. Fetzer now converses in the language of social work,
cataloguing some of the problems that face clients of the
150-year-old nonprofit organization — juvenile delinquency,
school truancy and teen pregnancy to name a few. He remembers
his efforts on Metropolitan Family Service's social advocacy
committee, including a memorable trip to Springfield, Ill.,
in which he testified before state legislators on the necessity
of a welfare increase. "That was very interesting for
me as a conservative Republican," he reflects, "but
I believe in trying to solve things at the local level."
in December, Fetzer and his family — wife Bev and daughters
Linda Fetzer and Laurie Shults, who have also served the organization
over the years — were honored with Metropolitan Family
Services' inaugural "Family of the Year Award" for
an outstanding record of more than four decades of service.
grew up with community service as one of my main charters.
I'm not the kind of person to put in my three years and leave,"
Fetzer says, laughing.
importance to the nonprofit organization grew in tandem with
a successful career as a banker in the Chicago office of Goldman
Sachs, where he began his career in 1971. One of his proudest
accomplishments: building and strengthening the firm's Midwest
region as its manager. He became general partner in 1986.
the 1961 graduate's community service record doesn't end there.
He has contributed to his undergraduate alma mater, University
of Wisconsin-Madison, including by serving on the UW Foundation
Board of Directors and advancing minority recruitment and
retention at the school. He has also cultivated an enduring
and important relationship with the Kellogg School. Many,
including Dean Emeritus Donald
P. Jacobs, credit him with building the school's Alumni
Advisory Board. Jacobs asked Fetzer to chair the board, something
the alum did for 12 years.
Jacobs: "Wade Fetzer is a wonderful person — warmhearted
and giving of his time and activities. More than that, he
has been a tower of strength in developing the Kellogg alumni
to that praise the voice of Liz
Livingston Howard, associate director of the school's
for Nonprofit Management and Social
Enterprise at Kellogg Program (SEEK), who says: "Wade
Fetzer has been a driving force for success at Kellogg. As
leader of the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board, Wade was dedicated
to creating opportunities to engage the board's creative talents
and to encourage their support of the school. His commitment
and enthusiasm was contagious and he continually brought out
the best in volunteers and staff."
Fetzer, retirement holds an added bonus: more time to assist
the nonprofit organizations that were such a priority during
his working life. "As Kellogg alums, we're united by
the belief that we've been lucky. It's important to take opportunities
to give back," he says.