Magazine Feature / People

Alumnus is passionate about finance and politics

Ryan Greenawalt (BSBA ’02) is senior vice president at Jefferies & Company, a publicly traded bond firm on Wall Street, where he works in the Fixed Income Group Group serving the needs of public entities.

He also is a founding member of the DU’s Young Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund and one of its biggest donors. He was raised Catholic, loves sports and is a passionate member of the Republican Party.

And he is gay.

Greenawalt “came out” while he was a DU student and, though the process was as difficult as you might expect, he is undaunted today and speaks with surprising candor about his two passions: finance and politics.

It just takes a while to fit all of the seemingly incongruous pieces of his life into one person.

Greenawalt says he spent several years learning how to “be Republican and be gay.” His path led him to the Log Cabin Republicans, a political organization that champions Republican fiscal values as well as equality.

“I am socially liberal and fiscally conservative,” says Greenawalt. “I believe in controlling your own destiny, limited government, free markets. That being said, I believe the party is headed down the wrong path because it is focusing on social issues, things that the government shouldn’t be involved in.”

Greenawalt is now the organization’s national board director and chairs its New York State political action committee.

Of course, he frequently must respond to people who wonder how he supports a party that seems hostile to his lifestyle, but again, this incongruous piece fits once he explains his perspective.

“Ninety percent of the gay community is focused on supporting the liberal agenda,” he says.  “We need people on both sides of the aisle to support equal rights.”

Greenawalt is equally passionate about serving and supporting his alma mater. He has given nearly $25,000 to the Young Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund and serves on its board.

One of Greenawalt’s best friends, Brynn Vassos-Moffet (BSBA ’01, MBA ’05), says, “I admire Ryan because he is passionate about the causes that he is committed to. At age 29, Ryan is one of the few people I graduated with who is already giving back to the University of Denver.”

Greenawalt simply believes in staying true to his values.

“I want to help people in need, whether those people are students or people who have no rights.”

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