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Marquette University Alumni Association

Intercollegiate Athletics Recipients

Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award

Willie HinesWILLIE L. HINES, JR., SP '88

After nearly two decades of serving on Milwaukee’s Common Council, Willie, a former men’s basketball player, has taken on a new challenge with the city’s housing authority.

“I enjoy helping empower and actualize the potential that exists within people and neighborhoods across Milwaukee,” he says. “I value the opportunity to help improve economic conditions within the city. I like establishing partnerships to address and solve issues. I do this work because I care about this city and believe in its residents.”

Willie stepped down from his post earlier this year, having served as Common Council president since 2004 and as an alderman since 1996. His new role is as an associate director with Milwaukee's Housing Authority.

Willie, who is an executive member of several local civic organizations, lives in Milwaukee with his wife, Janel, and two children. He credits his time at Marquette for helping him develop intellectually, spiritually and mentally.

“It helped me more clearly recognize my inner strength,” he says. “The outstanding educational experience helped prepare me for the rigors and challenges that were ahead.”

He played for the men’s basketball team in 1984 and 1985 and fondly recalls a conversation with coaching legend Al McGuire.

“One of my favorite Marquette moments was a talk with Coach Al McGuire about school, life and basketball,” Willie says. “I was very surprised that he knew me, let alone that he would have a conversation with me.”

Hometown: Milwaukee
Favorite quote: “My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge … “ Hosea, 4:6.
Dream dinner guest: President Barack Obama
Marquette faculty member who had an impact: “Sande Robinson, former executive director of the Educational Opportunity Program, because of her continuous belief in me, coupled with her demands, high expectations and straight talk.”
Career he aspired to in grade school: “I wanted to be a dentist because it was a character I portrayed in a grade school theatre production: The Trial of the Dental Help Six.”
Most influential person: “My oldest brother Darrell has been the most influential person in my life because he has been an outstanding example of a Christian, father, brother leader and strong man.”