Name: Bruce Wayne Jeffery ’07
Current job position (or additional field of study) and where: Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Decatur
Millikin major: Exercise Science: Sports Management
Why did you choose MU?
Coming out of high school in the city of St. Louis, I wanted to go away to school but not too far. Millikin was two hours away – just close enough if I had gotten home sick. When I came to visit, I enjoyed the campus, teachers and students I had a chance to meet. I also enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to travel far to get from class to class. So after talking with my parents, I knew Millikin would be a great fit for me.
What activities did you participate in as a student?
I played football all four years. I was also a member of BSU and Multicultural Voices of Praise, which was Millikin’s gospel choir. In 2005, I joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and was president my senior year.
Who was your most memorable MU professor and why?
It has to be Linda Slagell. When I came to Millikin in 2003, I will never forget our seminar class, “Learning Outside of the Classroom.” We had an opportunity to visit places in Decatur, participate in “Boo at the Zoo” and really get a good sense of Decatur as a whole. Later, she became my academic advisor and kept me on the right track to graduation.
What is your most memorable MU experience?
I would have to say the time I spent with friends. When I was a junior, I got involved with volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club and I also joined Life Changers Church, where I still attend. Meeting people off- and on-campus really played a huge role in my life.
What is one concept you learned at Millikin that you use in your work regularly?
“Embrace Diversity.” Throughout our careers, we will work with many people who are different from us. I believe the challenge is how to best work with those individuals so we can accomplish mutual goals. As executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, I have the opportunity to meet many, many people and I enjoy the fact I can fit into any crowd and be comfortable in who I am and what I know.
What do you enjoy most about your current job?
I would definitely say the most enjoyable part of my job is the kids. I don’t know of many workplaces where, when you get tired of paperwork and computers, you have 100+ kids that you can hang out with. Whether it’s shooting a game of pool or playing a game of Madden 25, building friendships with young people who need us most gives me great joy.
What have you done that you are most proud of since graduating from MU?
I’m most proud of where my career has taken me so far. At the age of 29, I am the youngest executive director in Decatur. A lot of the friends I went to school with went back to Chicago or St. Louis after graduation. I wanted to stay in Decatur and had an opportunity to advance in my career within a few years, so I learned as much as I could and now have an opportunity to lead an organization that is very well-respected in the Decatur community.”
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I met my wife here in Decatur and we got married Sept. 22, 2012. She just graduated in December with her master’s degree in nursing from Millikin, so we both truly “bleed blue.”
Where do you hope to be five years from now?
I hope to still be with the Boys & Girls Club, whether it is here in Decatur, at our national office in Atlanta, or even having the opportunity to run a bigger club in a larger city. Giving back to young people is what I’ve always envisioned myself doing.
What advice would you give to current Millikin students about preparing for life after graduation?
The most important thing is this: Be ready at any moment to sacrifice who you are for what you will become.
Want to be spotlighted as the "Young Alum of the Month?" We are seeking recommendations and self-nominations for outstanding young alumni who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership and have the potential for future success. Email Jaclyn Weisenborn '09, associate director of alumni engagement, with a short write-up of why you or your nominee should be considered for this profile. Please include a list of successes and achievements in your nomination, and attach a portrait or headshot (if available). One alum will be featured each month in MY Times.