National HBCU Week: IFSA Celebrates Eric Harton
Eric grew up in Columbus, Ohio, a long way from Morehouse College and Atlanta. His mother was familiar with the college, though, and she initially encouraged him to investigate the school. “She shared articles about prominent Morehouse alumni and also introduced me to some of her colleagues that were Morehouse graduates. They were all impressive,” Eric said.
It was an HBCU tour sponsored by the Columbus Urban League that convinced him, though. “The Morehouse students I met on that tour were all bright, ambitious and well spoken. The professors were thought provoking and really seemed to care,” Eric said. “They closed the deal with a brief tour of Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University both within walking distance of Morehouse. I went back to Columbus, told everyone I was attending Morehouse College, and I never looked back.”
THE MOREHOUSE INFLUENCE
Eric gravitated toward business, eventually earning his bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. “While at Morehouse, I was surrounded by role models: professors, classmates, alumni, and Morehouse supporters. It heightened my expectations of what is possible for my life and for my career. It gave me the confidence I needed to move through this world with full agency,” Eric said. Morehouse College continues to be an important organization to Eric. “It was life changing to me and they continue to be for many other young men,” he said.
RISING IN THE RANKS
Shortly after graduating from Morehouse, Eric started his career as an auditor in the Atlanta office of public accounting firm, Deloitte. Over the next twenty years, he would serve in multiple capacities for various firms, growing his responsibilities and management experience along the way. In one role, Eric worked as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Russell Athletic in Europe, which meant he and his family spent four years living and working in Edinburgh, Scotland.
After those years abroad and several subsequent years moving around the country, Eric and his family decided to settle in Indianapolis, Indiana. While networking, he learned of the Chief Financial Officer position at IFSA. “I did some research and learned about IFSA and study abroad in general. I got the opportunity to meet members of the executive team and some staff. I was blown away by their passion for international education and their desire to extend this type of opportunity more broadly,” he said.
Eric joined IFSA in July 2017. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with such passionate and committed people. I also enjoy the complexity that comes with working across various countries and cultures,” Eric said.
MORE THAN WORK
When he’s not working, Eric enjoys reading, weightlifting, casual bike riding, and bourbon tasting. He has two sons, Marcus and Michael, who are both avid music and film enthusiasts. Marcus works as a tech consultant in Chicago and Michael is a sophomore at Butler University majoring in political science.