For Richard Makowski, Gannon University and Erie became more than a “home away from home” during his college years. They became a permanent fixture in his daily life, even after graduation.
Originally from Germany, where much of his family still resides, Richard came to Gannon as a student-athlete on the varsity football team, studying finance. As a student, Richard was the definition of well-rounded, participating as a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity and the Student Investment Trust Club. He worked as a building supervisor at the Recreation & Wellness Center, then moved to the Small Business Development Center. At the SBDC, he rose through the ranks from student analyst to graduate assistant to a full-time position after graduation.
In his very first-class, Richard met Kelli, who later became his wife. Richard and Kelli often had lunch in the Waldron Campus Center in front of the former Knight’s Cove where they would always find a friend walking by or sitting at one of the tables.
Richard also reflects on many positive interactions with the faculty, particularly Dr. Richard Hauser, Associate Professor of Finance & Economics.
“The 'business core' is great because it allowed me to learn many aspects of business outside of just finance,” he said. “I cannot say enough how great of a professor Dr. Hauser is. His classes are excellent and always up to date. After graduation, I had no problem applying what I learned in class to my job.”
His role as Chief Investment Officer at Evident Financial keeps Richard close to the university, quite literally – his offices are in the Gannon University Center for Business Ingenuity. Here, he develops, monitors, and presents investment strategies for client and 401(k) retirement plan portfolios.
Reflecting on his best Gannon memories, Richard says the Homecoming football game is easily his favorite. As a member of the football team, he remembers the great atmosphere and the many people who always attend these games.
For current students, Richard hopes they will recognize that they’re living in what many will think of as the “good old days.”
“Make sure you back up your photos so you can relive the memories with your friends later,” he said.
Richard earned his degree in finance in 2018 and his MBA in 2019. He currently resides in Erie with his wife, Kelli, who works at Gannon as the Assistant Cheer and Dance coach, and their dog, Remi. He says his wife’s employment at Gannon “certainly emphasizes his connection to the University.”
Richard is an active volunteer in the Erie community. He serves on the Gannon University Alumni Board, the Advisory Board for Gannon’s Dahlkemper School of Business, the Board of Family Services of NWPA and is on the Hamot Board of Corporators. When Richard is not working or volunteering, he enjoys some of his favorite activities like golf, soccer, and waterskiing. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends and working on home projects.