College of Business Administration and
Graduate School of Management
Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award
James D. Devine, Bus Ad '66
Jim Devine likes to quote Mark Twain on the secret to success "ignorance and confidence," in Twain's words but his own secret is a little bit different. For Jim, it's all about hard work and perseverance. Plus the wisdom to know when to go on the offensive and when to hold the line.
The secret has served Jim equally well in military and civilian life. He attended Marquette on an NROTC scholarship and served with distinction as a Naval lieutenant in the Atlantic, the Pacific and Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
Upon his return from Vietnam, Jim earned a law degree from Loyola University Chicago and went into the commercial real estate business, working for Arthur Rubloff & Co., before co-founding the SIDCOR real estate investment firm in 1980. Nine years later, he launched his current company, Newcastle Properties.
He survived several boom and bust periods before the current downturn. But this one hasn't exactly been a cakewalk.
"We are currently playing defense during a very difficult recession in our industry," he says, adding that he's holding off on further real estate investments until the economy enters a recovery cycle.
But holding off in one area hasn't slowed Jim down in others. He's staying active in the Marquette Center for Real Estate, which he helped found; as a guest lecturer in the College of Business Administration; and in charity work for the Salvation Army.
"Like most people, I try to lead by example," Jim says.
Fun facts about Jim
What he wanted to be in grade school: Jet pilot (inspired by Top Gun)