James White '85

James White


Sport and position: Football, linebacker

Millikin major: Marketing

Current employment: State Farm Insurance Co. for 23 years:

  • 21 years in claims/subrogation
  • Two years in personal lines underwriting

Personal Big Blue stats/athletic achievements:

  • Four-year letterman (1981-84)
  • CCIW Defensive Player of the week (1983)
  • Two-time first-team All-CCIW linebacker (1983 and 1984)
  • Pizza Hut Division III Honorable Mention All-American (1984)
  • Team co-captain (1984)

Why did you choose MU?
I had heard great things about Millikin from a teacher, Mr. Al Meyers, at Joliet Central, and Mark Hosey, who went to Joliet Central and was finishing up at Millikin in 1981. Mark had good things to say about the school, the football program and the fraternity he and I pledged. George Donald, an All-American running back from Elmhurst told me that Millikin had the best defense he had ever faced.

Aside from Big Blue athletics, what activities did you participate in as a student at MU?

  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity
  • Millikin Marketing Association
  • Millikin Hospitality Corps

What was your most memorable moment as a Millikin student-athlete?
The last game of my football career, a 6-0 shutout of Carroll College.

What are some of your accomplishments since graduating from Millikin University?

  • Being married 28 years to the love of my life, Lisa.
  • Being blessed with two wonderful kids, Brett and Myah.
  • I’ve coached JFL Football, Decatur Hess Park baseball and basketball at Garfield Montessori Grade School.
  • I was an ISHA football referee.
  • I am the vice president of Mu Delta Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Springfield/Decatur.
  • I am the chairman of the Deacon Ministry at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur.

When not supporting the Big Blue, what is your favorite thing to do?
Spending time with my family.

Who is your most memorable MU professor/coach/staff and why?
Rick Bibb. I told him I had worked hard on a marketing research test. He in turn told me that hard work sometimes doesn’t pay off.

How has your experience as a Big Blue athlete prepared/helped make you successful?
I learned that to be successful you have to master the details of what you are doing. Sometime it’s the little things that make the difference in the outcome of a game.

What advice do you give to current Millikin students about preparing for life after graduation?
Be prepared for the goals that you want to accomplish. Be tenacious in going after your goals. Be humble in the pursuit of your goals. Be an agent of action, one who is adaptable and flexible in the pursuit of your dreams.