Distinguished Donor Spotlight ~ Mike Brown
Baxter International's Director of Financial Compliance and Internal Controls, Mike Brown, admits he didn't realize what his NIU Accountancy degree was worth until he was a few years out of college. It wasn't until landing his second job when a hiring manager told him candidly, "One of the reasons we hired you was because of your NIU Accountancy degree. We have always had great luck with graduates from that program." With a newfound appreciation for his alma mater and a clear understanding of the value of his NIU degree, Mike began working with Baxter's recruiting team and was involved with interviewing students. "The more I got involved with NIU as an alumnus, the more drawn in I became," shares Mike. "I realized that I needed to treat my degree as an investment—and the value of the NIU Accountancy degree is something I now wanted to preserve."
Mike's involvement with NIU has grown extensively over the years. With much pride and appreciation for his time and support, the Accounting department named him the Accountancy Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 2006. It's a true win-win for everyone. "The more I got involved, the more value I got out of it personally. I have been able to get to know students and faculty on a personal level and it's highly rewarding. That's what really keeps me involved."
Most recently, Mike established an endowed scholarship in Accountancy for students coming from a junior college. "I see how difficult it is to go to college because the cost has grown so dramatically," explains Mike, "and I want kids that couldn't go away to college their first couple of years to have the opportunity to go to a school recognized for its ROI. We have the perfect combination of a reasonably priced education and an excellent program."
Mike graduated from NIU's College of Business in 1983 with a B.S. degree in Accountancy and received his MBA from NIU in 1996. In 1985, he started at Baxter International as a Financial Analyst. During his career at Baxter, Mike has served in a variety of roles including: Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, Assistant Group Controller and Division Vice President, Finance.
Mike is a member of the NIU College of Business Board of Executive Advisors, serves on the NIU Athletics Advisory Council, and is a frequent speaker and coach in the classroom, in student organization meetings, and at MBA open houses. Mike lives in Buffalo Grove and enjoys laughing with his friends and colleagues from various schools whose football teams have tanked. "As I see it, our football team is now an added bonus for attending NIU."