News & Updates

A lifelong connection

Mike McCord feels a lifelong connection with Bradley University. The native Peorian has fond memories of going to Bradley basketball games with his parents and grandparents, who had season tickets as far back as the Armory and the Famous Five. He remembers hearing stories about his father growing up near Bradley and playing pick-up football games on campus.

Beyond his personal memories, Mike is most impressed with the vital role Bradley plays in Peoria. “The University is a driving, economic educational engine as far as the community is concerned. The knowledge and research and what the University does is extremely important and beneficial to the community.”

The CEO of Illinois Mutual Life Insurance Company in Peoria, Mike and his company have made a significant campaign pledge toward general facilities renovation and the E.A. McCord Endowed Scholarship, established in memory of Mike’s grandfather.

Both personally and through Illinois Mutual, Mike has been giving to Bradley for years. He, along with other officers and directors of Illinois Mutual, established the Robert A. McCord professorship for executive management development in 1990 in honor of Mike’s father’s retirement. “That was significant for our company to do. We wanted to do it in his name because of the leadership he exemplified for all who worked for him and those who worked with him in the community,” Mike says.

The professorship has three goals. First, it promotes professional excellence and rewards a faculty member who creatively educates students in the business and management curriculum to prepare them better for successful careers in business. Dr. Charles R. Stoner has held the professorship since its inception in 1991. Second, the professorship established the McCord Lectureship in Business, which brings prominent business executives to campus to meet with student groups and the campus community. Finally, the professorship helped create an undergraduate course in leadership in the Foster College of Business.

Mike and his wife, Kay, met as students at the University of Arizona. They have five children and five grandchildren. He has been a member of Bradley’s Board of Trustees for the past five years, currently serving as vice chair. He served on the Bradley Council from 1997 to 2004, served on the Chiefs Club Board of Directors from 1979 to 1981, and has been a member of the Foster College of Business Administration’s National Council of Advisors. He and Kay are members of the Braves Scholarship Society and the Renaissance Circle Society.