Mike Kilbane ’74 was never really a follower. While friends were taking the entrance exam at other local high schools, Mike forged his own path – choosing Marist for its excellent academic reputation.
“A neighbor chose Marist because of its academic excellence compared to other schools, and he was an exceptionally bright young man,” Mike said. “Attending a high school that placed a high priority on academics was important to me so I chose to sit for the exam at Marist.”
The opportunity to grow spiritually also intrigued Mike, who believes Catholic education goes to the very heart of forming young minds to prioritize what is important in life. Without Marist, Mike believes his life would have been very different and, perhaps, less fulfilling.
“Many great memories and teachers were the foundation of my high school experience,” Mike said. “The Marist Brothers and lay faculty instilled in us a sense of honesty, integrity, work ethic, and spirituality that has shaped who I am today.”
Mike’s honors coursework left little time for extracurricular activities. However, he did find time to play intramurals and work on the yearbook. He also served as the manager for the baseball team his freshman year and the basketball team his sophomore year.
From Marist, Mike traveled south to Peoria where he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bradley University. After earning his certified public accountant license, Mike spent five years in public accounting before becoming a chief financial officer in private industry. In 1992, Mike joined a young insurance consulting firm and spent the next 25 years helping to build and grow the firm at home and abroad.
A newly appointed board member, Mike is enthusiastic about Marist’s future. He believes that the new science wing will be a game changer for Marist as well as secondary education in the Chicagoland area. “I am proud to be a part of the campaign as a board member and a donor,” Mike explained. “I am excited to have met so many people dedicated to the continued success of the school.”
In addition to Marist, Mike and his wife Carla support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – a cause near and dear to their hearts as one of their two sons was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11. They also are active parishioners of St. Isaac Jogues in Hinsdale.
“I will always be grateful and feel blessed for my Marist experience many years ago,” Mike said. “Being given the Time and Eternity Award is truly an honor for which I am most grateful.”