A new phase

Ned Moran’s work at St. Anthony’s Dining Room provides fulfillment he didn’t get is the business world

Ned Nolan Post-retirement, Ned Moran wanted a different focus in his life. “I’ve made a strong commitment to helping others.” (Image by Mark Jones/UI Athletics)
Ned Moran’s work at St. Anthony’s Dining Room provides fulfillment he didn’t get is the business world

After retiring six years ago, following a successful career in finance, Ned Moran, LAS ’82, purposely entered a new phase of his life. For him, it wasn’t time to kick back and relax, but to roll up his sleeves and volunteer. 

“When I was working, I was focused on that. It was satisfying,” says Moran, who lives in San Francisco. “Now it’s time for a more fulfilling, purpose-driven life. I’ve made a strong commitment to helping others. I want to give back.”

To that end, Moran volunteers at St. Anthony’s Dining Room, which serves 2,300 meals, 365 days a year to the city’s homeless and needy. He fills plates, buses tables, and shares a friendly word or two with men and women in need of some cheer.

He also volunteers for Reading Partners, an area nonprofit that provides under-resourced schools with individualized reading support. Moran gets to huddle with young students one-on-one as they learn how to read. “It’s phenomenal,” he says.

Moran’s finance career took him from working on Wall Street with Arthur Andersen (now known as Accenture) in New York City to TCW, a Los Angeles investment management firm (where he met his life partner); then to the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; and finally to KKR, a private equity firm.

His success contradicts the belief that a liberal arts degree is detrimental to finding a job. “I can’t emphasize enough that the education I got was invaluable. My LAS degree gave me the structure and framework for my career,” Moran says. 

He is similarly grateful for his entire Illini experience. “Some people say high school was the best part of their life. Others say college. For me, it was college, hands-down,” says Moran, who grew up in Libertyville, Ill. 

He attributes his volunteerism in part to his parents and to his time at Illinois, where he served as a Krannert Center usher and helped out in the WPGU radio newsroom. However, he still found time for fun, such as attending Illini football games.

Today, Moran is quick to approach and chat up anyone he sees wearing Illini gear. Last December, he saw a burly young man at the soup kitchen. “Then, I saw a whole group of them,” he says. Turns out the Fighting Illini football team, in the Bay Area for the Redbox Bowl, was there to volunteer. “It was great. It was a hoot,” he recalls.