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Academic Scholarships

Chris Sauer ’95 majored in economics at Transylvania, but the liberal arts curriculum allowed him to make connections outside of his subject area, particularly with philosophy professor Jack Furlong. “To me he exemplifies what makes Transylvania special,” Sauer said. “He is a world-class intellectual, but dedicated to being a good teacher. He probably had more influence on teaching me how to think and how to approach problems critically than just about anyone.”

Sauer has put those analytical thinking skills to good use, earning advanced degrees from the University of Michigan and Columbia University, working in the White House, and navigating the financial markets in New York City.

A native of Owensboro, Ky., Sauer had planned to attend Notre Dame before the William T. Young Scholarship convinced him to stay in his home state. Almost 10 years after its introduction, Transy’s merit-based scholarship program hadn’t lost any of its luster when he arrived on campus. “It definitely meant recognition,” he said. “People knew it was a unique award. To receive this from a top quality school was a big statement of confidence in you.”

After graduating from Transy, Sauer earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan and spent two years working in the Office of Management and Budget at the White House during the Clinton administration. As the analyst in charge of Social Security reform, Sauer ran financial models to show the consequences of potential changes, such as raising the retirement age. “It was a very exciting time,” he said. “Social Security was one of the president’s central issues. If I had been working on another issue, it might have been interesting, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting and I wouldn’t have had as much exposure to cabinet level people.”

Sauer left Washington and earned his MBA from Columbia University Business School. He worked for four years at Lehman Brothers in New York City, concentrating on natural resources and then consumer retail. Last year he began doing general corporate advisory work for a smaller merchant bank, Groton Partners, in New York.

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