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Spartan Sagas



  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Winter 2013
Merritt Lutz pays it forward.
 
“My wife and I have an autistic son.  His name is Reed.  I have two sons.  Reed is 32 and Jason is 22.”
 
Merritt Lutz calls Reed’s autism a tragedy, one he knows can seem impossible for families facing the reality of this disorder. As a result, however, he stepped up and helped establish a residential facility for people like his son who have autism.
 
“I think that after going through all we went through, our hope is to do anything we can to make his life as it is today happier. That is the best I can do,” Lutz says. “I certainly would do anything I can. And there is a cure out there. I just thought it would come earlier than this.”
 
Lutz keeps the steady beat of hard work for the things he’s passionate about. Whether it’s his family, his work for autism, or success in business, he says it’s Michigan State that set the rhythm for the measure of his life.
 
“I am still very involved in Michigan State in various ways, and one of those ways is in the music and with the drumline,” he says. “It changed my life. I went to school there, and I had a great time there—still have a great time there. And it really got me moving, my career moving, my personal life moving, in various ways. It has truly changed my life.”
 
Merritt Lutz loves his work in the financial services industry; he also focuses on investing—in people.
 
Lutz, who earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and a master’s in social science from Michigan State, came to MSU to fulfill his dream of playing with the Spartan Marching Band drumline.
 
“I had seen the Michigan State drumline on television,” Lutz says. “If you remember, they used to show the halftimes on television in the prehistoric years. So I saw that drumline and I thought, my God, I would do anything to be in that drumline to play with those guys.”
 
After a year at MSU, he earned a scholarship.
 
“I didn’t have any money. I was offered a scholarship, which kept me going, and I borrowed money. And I did everything possible to be in the drumline,” Lutz says. “So I would say that Michigan State had everything to do with any success I have now—my happiness, a lot of my happiness. I met my wife there.”