Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Mike's History

I enjoyed the note from Al McArtor because it reminded me of when we were roommates our first year. He would typically come into our room after football practice and dinner and sit on his bed with a textbook in his hands. It wasn't long before he was fast asleep – but who could blame him. I guess he absorbed the material by laying on it! We had two Wing Commanders from our squadron while we were in school: Al and Don Shepherd (1962). Don has occasionally done some TV work as a military analyst.

My background: I married Jeanne Even shortly after graduation. She graduated from Loretto Heights College in Denver. We are both native Illinoisans who met in Colorado. We were introduced by mutual friends. Our first date was at Arnold Hall because I was confined to campus due to a car accident the evening before. Jeanne and I raised five great kids who are scattered around the country and are now in our 46th year together. We have 13 wonderful grandchildren who we love to spoil and to watch them grow into young adults.

My Air Force career field was Personnel (or Human Resources as it is known in the civilian world). After serving a tour with AFIT at Wright-Patterson, I went out to Boston to pursue an MBA. Following graduation, I was assigned to a Personnel Office (CBPO) at Tuy Hoa AB, Vietnam. When I arrived on the base, the Base Education Officer asked if I would be interested in teaching some classes at night for the University of Maryland. I said sure, why not? One of the highlights of that particular experience was having a Class of 1962 grad as one of my students (a little role reversal!). My last job at Tuy Hoa was as Chief of Military Personnel. My return assignment was to Hancock Field, Syracuse, NY, where I was also the Chief of Military Personnel. Leadership and management skills learned at the Academy were very helpful in Vietnam and particularly at Hancock Field where I inherited a group with low morale and ranked number 11 out of 11 Personnel Offices in ADC. With in a year and a half we climbed from last to first. These skills were also very helpful in my civilian career.

After serving my commitments, I got out of the Air Force and went to work for a private company in the Chicago area. My first job was to buy and implement a computerized system to handle all of the company's paperwork (ordering, invoicing, accounting, financial statements, taxes, commissions, payroll, etc.). The new system was to replace what was pretty much a manual operation. As one could imagine, there was considerable resistance (what's wrong with the way we're doing it now?); but over time everyone finally got on board and were happy that we converted to a more efficient system.

My senior year at the Academy I coached our squadron football team to zero victories. I guess that lit a fire in me as I went on to successfully coach grade school basketball for 15 years and grade school track for 11 years. And that initial plunge into teaching at Tuy Hoa was so much fun that I taught part time, both while in the Air Force and while in private industry. After I retired as CFO at the company where I worked for 28 years, I got back into teaching on almost a full time pace. I love it so much that I'm still teaching business and management courses at Harper College in Palatine and Advanced Algebra and Geometry at a local middle school.

Although I'm not originally from Chicago, I am a huge Bears, Bulls, and Hawks fan, but remain a Cardinals fan when it comes to baseball as I grew up in their area. I used to listen to them on the radio with my grandpa in the days before TV (a few years ago!).

Would love to hear from any classmates from the best class ever! I hope to see a lot of them at our 50th.
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