Alumni National Awards

All-University Award Recipients


James M. Meier, Bus Ad '84

As senior director of marketing finance for MillerCoors, Jim knows a thing or two about return on investment. In recent years, he’s invested time, talent and treasure in his alma mater, and already, his investment is paying off in ways that make a tangible difference to Marquette.

The stature of Marquette men’s basketball was a big draw for Jim when he was looking at colleges, and he’s since been a loyal team supporter. In 2003, after the team made the Final Four for the first time since its 1977 national championship win, Jim decided to go all in for season tickets. At that same time, he says, “I was at a point in my life where I wanted to start making a more prolonged difference, something that would endure over time. And as my parents raised me, they definitely instilled by example the priority of charitable involvement.”

His inquiry about tickets led to conversations with the athletics development department, and in 2005 the James M. Meier Scholarship for Men’s Basketball was established. It was the 14th endowed athletics scholarship for Marquette athletes from an individual or organization outside of the university; today, there are nearly 80.

“I think for any school, athletics can be a real difference-maker in terms of student life, how the university is seen within its local community, within the state and even more broadly,” says JIm, who has traveled to 27 different cities — sometimes with the team — to watch Marquette on the basketball court. “And student-athletes, on their part, invest a great deal of time and effort. I wanted to contribute in a way that could help make things a little bit easier for them.”

Jim also volunteered as co-chair of the 2014 and 2016 committees for the annual Blue & Gold Fund Dinner Auction, which raises funds for student-athlete scholarships.

“We felt there was a big opportunity to advance the event up to a standard that I think is deserving of our student-athletes,” Jim says. “It was always an enjoyable event, but there’s almost nothing that we didn’t change up a little bit.” As a result, attendance has more than doubled, and funds raised have reached record levels.

Jim credits his time at Marquette with helping establish a strong foundation for his career success. As he has advanced in business, he says he has increasingly valued “certain capabilities that tie back to the broader education experience — things like teamwork, collaboration, empathy and respect for different points of view and disciplines. You might tuck these aside for a while, but eventually, you realize you need them.”