Get to know UW-Parkside alumnus Mike Haubrich
By Peppy O'Neill
For Mike Haubrich, a consummate supporter of his alma mater UW-Parkside, an exuberant member of the university's Foundation Board, and an avid Ranger athletics fan, it's all about being motivated to create something more worthwhile and very often, something that doesn't even exist yet.
In all of these roles, Haubrich looks for opportunities to enhance UW-Parkside's presence and image in the eyes of the campus family, the communities we serve, and those we compete with our athletic teams on the playing field.
A primary example of his far-sighted approach evolved from a business client meeting he was leading a few years ago at Financial Service Group, the Racine-based financial services firm he heads, when he examined the motivation of one of his clients who was inclined to donate to UW-Parkside. While the proposed gift was generous, Haubrich looked deeper into the client's motivation for giving and found that there was a true desire to create something unique and wonderful on the campus. Working together, Haubrich and his client discovered a way to enhance the giving effort so that a perfect reflection of the client's hopes would manifest itself in a singular space on campus. The project evolved. It eventually became, for the client, a profound realization of a life's worth of dreams.
This story embodies Haubrich's approach to life, much of it formed during his days as a student at UW-Parkside.
"As a first-generation student, I realized from my earliest days on campus that this was the right place for me. It fit my lifestyle needs (I commuted to campus from home, like everyone else did in those days), the faculty was absolutely right for the environment, and I was getting a good education," he recalled.
Haubrich found the UW-Parkside environment so attuned to his development as a student, in fact, that he began his studies as political science major, took a break to intern at the Racine Public Defender's office and leveraged these experiences into earning a degree in a new field that ultimately attracted his attention, the world of finance.
"All of this made a mark on me," Haubrich explained. "And it all encouraged me to dream big and to see the value of synergy in achieving goals and aspirations."
A man who establishes his own pathway, Haubrich said the time here at UW-Parkside also fortified his need to go beyond expectations, to seek out change when it is called for, and to create things that don't yet exist.
"Being a catalyst for the client I described, encouraging her to seek new horizons, is the kind of synergy that helps me to stay motivated as well," he said.
And now, he uses that synergistic approach when working with partners on the UW-Parkside campus, particularly in the interconnecting areas of athletics, development, the UW-Parkside Foundation, and the alumni base. He feels the stage is set for bringing these functions into a harmonious whole, all to support the university and its reach for the stars."A lot of neat stuff can happen," he enthused. "We can work together here at Parkside to create opportunities that are meaningful. Believe it. It's possible."