The long tradition of welcoming the brightest and hardest-working students, regardless of their financial situation, is a hallmark of Lehigh University. Equally important in this age of globalization, Lehigh recognizes that understanding different cultures is essential in cultivating student success. Maria and John Chrin have fostered these vital components of a 21st Century education through their creation of scholarships and international internships.
As the youngest alumni couple to be inducted as Leadership Plaza members, Maria and John have long been investing generously. The Chrins established the Rosa and Elias Sahury Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of Maria’s grandparents to award scholarships to undergraduates of Hispanic heritage and the Maria L. ’87 and John R. Chrin ’85 ’86 Endowed Scholarship to assist female undergraduates to achieve a Lehigh education.
As strong advocates of fostering global experiences, the Chrins recently created five endowed funds to support Lehigh students interested in participating in the Iacocca International Internship Program. They are members of the Asa Packer Society and Tower Society, Lehigh’s leadership giving societies.
Maria has been a Lehigh trustee since 2005 and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee. She is the first woman to chair the Investment Subcommittee, which oversees the university’s endowment. In 2011, she was the featured guest speaker at the Donald M. Gruhn ’49 Distinguished Finance Speaker Series where she discussed her decision-making structure embodied in the letters L-E-H-I-G-H.
John is equally involved at their alma mater. He chairs the College of Business and Economics Dean’s Advisory Council and has served on the Lehigh Leadership Council and the Wall Street Council. He was the first Global Financial Services Executive-in-Residence in Lehigh’s Perella Department of Finance.
Maria and John met at Lehigh as undergraduates, where Maria earned a bachelor of science degree in economics in 1987, and John earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics and foreign careers in 1985 and a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering in 1986. They both continued their education at Columbia Business School, earning M.B.A. degrees in finance and marketing.
Maria is the founder and managing partner of Circle Wealth Management, LLC, an independent investment management and wealth advisory firm. Prior to that, she was managing partner of Circle Financial Group. She began her career at Goldman Sachs, where she was a vice president in private wealth management for 15 years.
John is currently a partner at Circle Wealth Management, senior advisor to Century Capital Partners, and director of Astoria Financial Corporation. He has spent more than 20 years advising major banks on mergers and acquisitions. Most recently, he was co-head of J.P. Morgan’s financial institutions group.
Maria and John live in Short Hills, New Jersey, and have three children, John ’10, Rose, and Lizzy.