The eyes of youth are innocent and their hearts pure, leading them to dreams of becoming a doctor, teacher, firefighter, artist, or lawyer. For alumnus Lavarr Barnett ’14, he loved sports and the law leading him to go to college to pursue sports law.

“Immediately following graduation from Holy Cross, I enrolled at ND law to pursue a legal career. Initially, my area of focus was business and sports law, with a plan to eventually practice law locally while working on gaining certification to represent both NFL and NBA athletes as an agent. I had secured both an offer from a local firm, as well as an opportunity to work for a sports agency before an opportunity to fundraise for Notre Dame proved too enticing to pass up. I worked there as a Development Officer/Fundraiser until 2021, when I transitioned into for-profit capital formation,” said Barnett currently working as a Vice President of Investor Relations with Summit Equity Investments.

Transitioning into this unique career path came after a chance encounter and evaluation of his personal qualities.

“It was a fortuitous meeting with a development representative that helped me transition from sports/law to fundraising. The skillset necessary to succeed in the profession felt so closely related to the skills I had naturally sharpened over the course of my education, including building lasting connections and relationships with colleagues and classmates,” recalls Barnett. “Once I had a better understanding of what the career path was, and the kinds of doors that would open for me if I were to truly develop that skill set, it just felt like a perfect fit for me.”

Holy Cross impact

“One thing that really helped me along this journey that stayed with me from my time at Holy Cross was the importance of networking. Not just that it must be done, but also some strategies on how to do it effectively,” notes Barnett.

Impactful moment

“After I completed my first semester at Holy Cross College and received my final grades, I realized that it was the best GPA (grade point average) I’d ever had. That gave me the confidence to push myself to continue working harder because I could let go of the idea that maybe I wasn’t as competent as my peers, or that I didn’t have what it took to be a successful college student,” said Barnett.

Next journey

“I recently transitioned into real estate finance, which has been a wonderful and rewarding challenge as I build out my career,” said Barnett. “My goal is to continue developing both the skills and relationships to thrive in my new environment. I also recently joined the Board of Trustees here at Holy Cross, and I’m looking forward to helping my alma mater grow and thrive.”

Lavarr Barnett ’14 alumnus.