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MacMurray board leadership changes

October 20, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, IL – The Chairman of the MacMurray College Board of Trustees, Allen Croessmann, retired Thursday after 17 years on the board and nine years as chairman since 2003, turning over the gavel to board member Charles O’Connell.

"It has been an honor to serve my alma mater," Dr. Croessmann said.  "MacMurray is poised for great things, and I am proud to have had the chance to help set the College's future direction as we approach our 175th birthday early in the next decade."

Thursday evening at a dinner in Dr. Croessmann’s honor, the Board bestowed an honorary doctorate of humane letters on Dr. Croessmann, and MacMurray College President Colleen Hester read a proclamation from Jacksonville Andy Ezard proclaiming Saturday, Oct. 20 as Allen Croessmann Day in Jacksonville for his service to MacMurray and to the city.

Dr. Croessmann joined the College's Board of Trustees in 1995, serving in a variety of leadership roles, including business affairs, investments, development, enrollment, and governance, before assuming the chairmanship in 2003. During the period between the retirement of previous President Lawrence Bryan and the appointment of current President Colleen Hester, Dr. Croessmann contributed significantly to the leadership and management of the College during the presidential transition. 

Dr. Croessmann, a 1968 graduate of MacMurray with a bachelor's in history, retired from a career in financial services in 1998 after holding a variety of positions with Citibank in New York City, including manager of the bank's Wall Street branches and consumer marketing director; and Bank of Boston, where he founded and managed the bank's mutual funds and retail brokerage businesses and served as head of marketing for both the consumer and Private Banking divisions.  He has been a panelist and conference chair for many financial services associations, and he has testified as an industry expert before the U.S. House Banking Committee on banking reform.

After graduating from MacMurray, he served in military intelligence in Korea, and then received a master's (1972) and Ph.D. (1976) in English History from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.  He is married to Nancy Teel Croessmann, a 1969 graduate of MacMurray. They have a son and daughter and four grandchildren. 

With Dr. Croessmann’s retirement from the Board Thursday, Charles O’Connell was unanimously elected chairman of the MacMurray Board of Trustees.

Mr. O’Connell, a 1969 graduate of MacMurray with a bachelor’s in business/economics, is a director and senior investment officer of BMO Harris, a division of Harris Bank in Chicago.

After graduating from MacMurray, he taught school for seven years in the north Chicago suburbs before beginning his career in investment, financial consulting and higher education. In 1981, he joined the Investment Office of the University of Chicago, where he became acting chief investment officer of the College’s $2.5 billion fund before joining Harris Bank as the vice-president and senior portfolio manager in the firm’s Private Wealth Group, an investment arm for families.

While at the University of Chicago, he obtained a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and taught courses in finance and investment at DePaul University from 1987 to 1997 and at the Illinois Institute of Technology's Stuart School of Business from 1993 to 1997. He also taught CFA classes in Thailand and in Germany.

Mr. O’Connell has been active in his community, serving on the board of Ragdale, the fourth largest artist colony in America. He has also worked with other community groups, including the  Lake County United Way; the Liberty Prairie Conservatory land-preservation group; the Cook Memorial Library; and the Chicago Metropolitan YMCA. He is a member of Angel Flight where, as a private pilot, he transports people, primarily for medical purposes, who cannot afford airfare.

Mr. O’Connell and his wife, Jody Ver Steegh, who is also a 1969 graduate of MacMurray and is a Professor Emeritus at DePaul University, have three children.

The MacMurray Board of Trustees is responsible for the governance of the College and sets overall policy and strategic direction for MacMurray.

For more information, contact:

Ted Roth, Director of Communications and Marketing
Work: 217-479-7027
Email: Send Email

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