James Haley ’71 accepts Leadership and Service Award
Cornell College is pleased to honor Jim Haley for his 42 years of service as Class Agent, and also recognizes his commitment to his local community and to our nation.
Jim, after earning your bachelor’s degree in history and education, you went to Washington University in St. Louis, where you received your law degree in 1974. That year you became the Class of 1971 class agent, and ever since you’ve played a key role in keeping your Cornell classmates updated and informed about happenings on the Hilltop. During it all, your life unfolded.
In law school, you joined the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps. After graduation, you performed your duties as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate from 1974 to 1979 at which time you were discharged honorably. Five years later in 1984, you joined the Illinois Air National Guard at O’Hare where you served for 15 years as the Staff Judge Advocate for the 126 Air Refueling Wing. Having served for a total of 20 years, you retired in 1999 at the rank of Lt. Colonel.
You were also a litigator in private practice, from which you also retired in 1999, after which you served three years as a substitute teacher in multiple Chicago-area schools, from elementary to high school grades. In 2002, you made another career change, entering the field of mortgage lending.
Throughout your career, you have also been engaged in your community of Downer’s Grove, Illinois. You served on the Fire and Police Commission Board, and on the Community Adult Day Care Center Board, including as president. You have served in leadership roles in your church as well, currently as a member of the Chicago Episcopal Diocese budget committee.
Throughout it all, you have found time to keep your classmates informed about activities and events here at Cornell. On behalf of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the entire Cornell community, it is an honor to present you with the Leadership and Service Award.
James Haley ’71 is an attorney, educator, and military officer. He grew up in Waterloo, Iowa. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and education from Cornell College and a juris doctor from Washington University School of Law. While in law school, he joined the Air Force Reserve Officer Training program. After completing his degree, he went on active duty as a member of the Air Force Judge Advocate staff. Following five years of active duty, he joined the Illinois Air National Guard, retiring in 1999 after 20 years. During this time he was also an attorney in private practice, from which he also retired in 1999. He then became a teacher in the Chicago schools for three years. In 2002, he entered the field of mortgage lending. He has been active in his community of Downer’s Grove, Illinois. He also serves St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and has been active on the budget committee of the local diocese.