With nearly 40 years of experience on college campuses, Mike Hatfield brings a diverse background to St John’s Catholic Newman Center. No stranger to SJCNC, Hatfield is a St John’s alum from his days at Parkland College in the mid 1970’s and long-time friend and colleague of former SJCNC Director and UI Varsity Team Chaplain – the late Msgr Edward J Duncan. Hatfield’s professional experiences through the years have focused on providing support for college students in order for them to have the best opportunities available in order to attain their goals and prepare for life after college. That history of support has been in the form of coaching, training, counseling, advising, educating, and allocating resources….along with raising monies for scholarships, academic support services, sports medicine programs, facilities, and ministry programs.
A native of Hoopeston, IL (St Anthony), Hatfield graduated from Parkland College and then earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Eastern Illinois University. A former wrestler, Hatfield twice defeated the eventual state champion in a high school career that ended at Assembly Hall. He switched sports in college and grabbed three Illinois Jr College state track & field titles at Parkland. He transferred to EIU, and after recovering from knee surgery his first year, was a member of the Panther cross country team that won the 1977 NCAA National Championship. In 1979, he earned All-America honors in track & field after leading the nation with the #1 collegiate division time in the 3000-meter steeplechase, missing the all-time NCAA mark by less than one second, while setting an EIU school record that stood for over 25 seasons. Hatfield is a member of both the Hoopeston Area High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the Eastern Illinois University Athletic Hall of Fame.
His first stop after college was at Cal-State Fullerton in 1980 as head men’s and women’s cross country coach, home events coordinator, and athletic ticket manager. He arrived on the UI campus in 1981 and served as Academic Counselor for the Fighting Illini football and men’s basketball teams. He was Director of the Athletic Ticket Office from 1989-1999, then served another 10 years in the Office of Athletic Development as both Assistant and Associate Director of Development. In 2009, Hatfield was named Executive Director of the Varsity I Association and served that capacity until 2010. While in athletics, he also coordinated football team travel for 2 seasons, was a member of the sales team that marketed and sold the Memorial Stadium suites and club seats, and had regional alumni/fundraising responsibilities in Arizona, Northern California, and St Louis.
Hatfield’s responsibilities with SJCNC focus on revenue and reputation, which includes a) coordinating a sustainable annual fund giving program (The Chaplain’s Fund) in order to meet the immediate needs of the student ministry programs, b) funding related to upkeep/repairs on the SJCNC “campus”, including the original St John’s Chapel and Newman Hall dorm that was built in the 1920’s, and c) starting SJCNC sponsorships, naming rights, and endowment programs to provide funding in perpetuity.
Said Hatfield “Helping build on the recent and sustained successes that have been taking place at 6th and Armory for 85+ years is truly an honor. This place has phenomenal upside potential because of the volume of alumni who experienced defining moments at both St John’s Chapel and Newman Hall. If and when our alumni realize this place really did shape their lives, it will be very satisfying to be able to help facilitate a “give back” plan for those who consider SJCNC as a memorable part of their lives. Since the leadership teams at both the Diocesan and SJCNC levels are strong, and the history here lends itself to having a bright future – I know of no reason we cannot provide critical support for the next generation of SJCNC alumni”.
Hatfield’s community support, philanthropic interests, and memberships have included: The St Vincent DePaul Society, St Matthew Parish, Sons of the American Legion, the HS of St Thomas More, Champaign Elks, Fighting Illini I FUND, EIU Panther Club, Illinois State Redbird Club, Parkland College Foundation, Parkland College Alumni Association, The United Way, Crisis Nursery, US Olympic Committee, Illinois Special Olympics, Wounded Warrior Project, Camp Out for Kids, Cornjerker Sports Boosters, The Illinois Farm Bureau and The Chaplain’s Fund at St John’s Catholic Newman Center.
He and his wife Carol (’78 UI alum) are members of St Matthew Parish in Champaign, where Carol taught for over 20 years. They have 2 children, Angie (Dan) Marker (’03 UI alum) and Nic Hatfield (’10 EIU alum), along with grandsons Johnny and Dean Marker…and reside in Champaign.
Hatfield can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217 255 6641.