Way Maker: 2021 Laetare Medalist Carla Harris

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Carla Harris

Carla Harris

When Carla Harris — finance powerhouse, gospel singer, author and winner of the University of Notre Dame’s 2021 Laetare Medal — started working at Morgan Stanley in 1987, she earned a reputation not just as an ace deal-closer on the capital markets desk. Her penchant for prayer also gained status in the boardroom.

“While I did not wear ‘Holy Roller’ on my sleeve, I also didn’t hide it,” she said. “When I started, those 100-hour work weeks were fact, not fiction.”

If a deal was not going very well, Harris would run down the street to St. Patrick’s Church and pray for an hour. Recalling this time, Harris said: “It got to be such a running joke that some of my colleagues would say, “This deal is not going well; Carla, where are you going for lunch?”

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