Name: Michael Hildebrand Sr.
Pledge Class: 1986
Purdue Major: Mechanical Engineering
Occupation: Engineering Director, Eli Lilly
A Fairway Family
This month’s Alumni Spotlight is Michael Hildebrand Sr. He currently lives in Westfield, Indiana and is happily married to his wife Kathleen of 24 years. The Hildebrand’s have seven children: four live at home, two are currently Fairway actives, and one is married (to a Fairway alum!) and has graduated from Purdue. Michael has had a tremendous career with Eli Lilly, traveling domestically and abroad. He currently serves in a corporate engineering leadership role as a director in engineering and manufacturing. He has maintained contact with a couple close pledge brothers, Rex Eicher and Kent Dyck. Michael is a part of the Fairway Alumni Facebook Network and said, “I also have recently established some contact with several of my housemates via Facebook, which I’ve found to be a great tool for keeping in touch”.
Favorite Fairway Memories
Michael reminisced on many Fairway memories that included intramural achievements and spiritual growth as he led house devotions and cultivated intriguing, doctrinal discussions with his Fairway brothers. The best memory he has of Fairway was during an old Purdue tradition titled “U-Sing.” U-Sing was meant to unite girls’ and guys’ houses for a partnered, campus-wide singing competition. Fairway “had a good reputation” when it came U-Sing and one year Fairway received a “bid” from top sorority Delta Gamma. Fate would have it, that Michael met the love of his life when Delta Gamma and Fairway partnered up for U-Sing that year. Kathleen played piano for the DG/Fairway team. Whether it was love at first sight or Kathleen’s finesse on the piano, she caught Michael’s eye and the rest is history!
Perspective from being a current Fairway Parent
Michael brings an interesting perspective as an alumnus because he has two sons, Michael Jr. and David, who are both Fairway actives currently. When asked about Fairway’s impact on his sons, he said, “I have seen them grow in leadership as well as learned a great deal about life, dealing with conflict, and living out one’s faith through their experiences at the house and particularly from some of the mentors they have had – both from Fairway members and the house advisors”. He believes that, “For many members, this (Fairway) is their first significant exposure to some healthy questions and debates that have long existed in the global church.” Additionally, Michael said that Fairway is, “great chance for them (all Fairway actives) to wrestle with tough questions and to really make their faith their own.”
Advice to current Fairway members
1. “Understand your Purpose in life (read Ecclesiastes for a few hints, especially the last two verses!). Don’t confuse your pursuits with your Purpose.”
2. “Marry the right person! Not in terms of your “soul mate”, but in terms of someone who is as passionate about seeking God as you are, and someone who also understand her Purpose. Proverbs warns in very interesting and provocative ways about the dismal life of a man who marries the wrong kind of person.”
3. “Do the right thing, work hard, have a great attitude. If you do these things, you will be a valuable employee. You will still have career ups and downs, but someone with these characteristics will ultimately be a blessing to his employer and will ultimately be rewarded (plus, according to Colossians 4, you will also receive an even more important reward in heaven if you have this approach!)”
Fairway would like to thank Michael Hildebrand Sr. for contributing to this Alumni Spotlight! Please take a second to pass this story on to others who haven’t seen our Alumni Spotlights. Also, if you have any alumni you would like to nominate for the next spotlight, please email Mitchell Stevenson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and God Bless!