Misericordia University will recognize former Wall Street executive Elisabeth "Lisa" Fontenelli for lifelong support of the Sisters of Mercy and the Mercy educational traditions at its 7th annual winter commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 17.
During the ceremony, the University will confer degrees to 331 eligible students that hail from 18 states and present Fontenelli with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Fontenelli recently retired after a 30-year career in the global financial industry. Fontenelli joined Goldman Sachs in 1992 in U.S. Equity Research and was appointed to the global research management team in 2000. She assumed the role of divisional chief administrative officer in 2005 and was named chief operating officer of the division in 2007. She was named managing director in 2003 and partner in 2006.
Prior to her retirement, she served as deputy head of Global Investment Research, overseeing all equity and credit research globally.
Fontenelli earned a dual Bachelor of Science degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the School of Management at Syracuse University in 1986. She currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. In 2016, she completed 12 years of service as a trustee at Georgian Court University, founded in 1908 by the Sisters of Mercy in Lakewood, New Jersey.
Fontenelli's connection to the Mercy tradition began as a student of the Sisters of Mercy at St. Mary Academy in Lakewood, New Jersey. She says her philanthropy and support of Mercy education is guided by the Mercy core values she inherited from her parents, experienced as a child, and continues to develop as an adult. She is a supporter of Mercy Center and Sister's Academy in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and has been a sponsor of the Mercy Girls Rising Project for more than 10 years. The Mercy Girls Rising Project provides for Mercy-sponsored high schools across the country to send between four and six student leaders to the Mercy Leadership Conference held each June, where they have the opportunity to hone skills in leadership and collaboration, and learn how to use education as a tool to help eradicate global poverty.
Fontenelli has contributed to other Mercy missions around the world with a particular emphasis on education and leadership, especially for women and girls, an area of need that is one of the five critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy.