“The trajectory of my life and that of my four siblings was made possible through the selfless acts of our mom’s love. She gave of herself in so many ways so that she and my father could build a family; and in so doing she lived out the greatest of vocations—that of a mother. Somehow, she managed to find time to drive us all over Southeastern Michigan, juggle disparate schedules that would have had an air traffic controller sweating, and dispense love and homemade Italian treats in equal measure to us and all of our friends. As I look back on my Brother Rice years, one of the great lessons I learned was how we are all called to live lives of character and citizenship. For me, there has been no greater example of a life of meaning and purpose than that of my lifetime mentor, my mom!” — Michael Neus ‘80
Attorney, Corporate Executive, Industry Ethicist, Teaching Fellow, Author, Civil Servant
Senior Special Counsel at The Securities and Exchange Commission
Loyal Alumnus of Brother Rice and Ever Grateful Son
We are often reminded that although one’s character reveals itself through a lifetime of choices, it finds its source through values instilled a lifetime ago. It is the greatest of parental gifts for it imparts what no one can buy or achieve on their own. Character is the best measure of the fullness of one’s life as it affirms goodness and models citizenry.
There is an unyielding bond between a mother and her son. Moms teach us patience and understanding, love and loyalty – sometimes in word, more often in witness. They inspire us to be our best selves. They see in us our potential for goodness and greatness long before we see it ourselves. They teach us how sacrifice and commitment become building blocks for personal character. Moms are teachers and administrators in the routine of a family’s daily life, coaches and mentors at the most difficult of times, all-stars and champions when it matters most.
Such is the story of Marion Lamensa Neus – a daughter of Italian immigrant parents and grandparents who had sought opportunity in a new land. Marion was a pioneer in her family: the first to graduate college and the first to become a teacher. A woman of great character; a mother of great example.
Inspired by his mom’s confidence in him and her encouragement to stretch beyond his comfort zone, the trajectory of Mike Neus’s professional career finds its source in the experience of his youth. The General Counsel was once Captain of Brother Rice’s Debate Team. The Chief Compliance Officer was once Chairman of the Model Senate. The Managing Partner of an international investment management firm was once the National Vice President of Sales for Junior Achievement. The Professor and Senior Fellow was once a leader of the Model United Nations. The Industry Author and Scholar can trace his passion for writing and research to his years on the school newspaper and National Honor Society. The Senior Special Counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission was once the Speaker of the House at Boys’ State.
A graduate of Brother Rice High School, the University of Notre Dame, and with a Juris Doctorate from Columbia, Mike has led a life of intellectual curiosity and engagement. His life experiences and the accolades he has received tell the story of a person of great trust and trustworthiness, respect and responsibility, integrity and character.
In honor of his mom’s guiding inspiration in his life and in that of her grandchildren Nora, Jack, and Julia, we are pleased to announce through the generosity of a $1,000,000 gift from Karen & Mike Neus ’80 the establishment of The Michael Neus ’80 Institute for Character & Citizenship at Brother Rice High School.
Housed within The Center for Learning & Achievement at Brother Rice, this Institute will serve as an intellectual home and cross-disciplinary collaborative for the study of American history, U.S. government, western civilization, world religions, economics, and the law, while sponsoring programmatic offerings designed particularly to form life pillars that will be foundational to a Brother Rice graduate. By acclimating students to mediums of public discourse, debate, lectures, symposiums, service, and mission immersion programs, it is the aspired goal of this Institute to shape the minds and hearts of Brother Rice students in their journey to manhood – as sons, brothers, and future husbands and dads. In turn, it is envisioned through this inspired work, The Michael Neus ’80 Institute for Character & Citizenship will be a catalyst for building a more just, respectful, and engaged citizenry in all facets of personal and professional pursuits.
Inspired by a legacy of love gifted from a mom to her son, a loyal alumnus of Brother Rice now gifts a legacy of opportunity to the next generation of RICE Warriors so they may develop the confidence, the skills, and the wise discernment to become men of character and citizens of the world.
We are humbled by Mike’s commitment to his alma mater and ever grateful for this investment in the future of Brother Rice High School.
THE JERRY BLUHM DEBATE HALL
Jerry Bluhm was a legendary Debate & Forensics Coach at Brother Rice High School and the only person in Michigan to have been a high school and college champion who also coached high school and college national champion teams.
In appreciation for the influence he had on Mike’s life and dozens of other Brother Rice students as an inspirational coach and mentor, we proudly announce the naming of the Jerry Bluhm Debate Hall within the Michael Neus ’80 Institute for Character & Citizenship at Brother Rice High School.
Although Jerry sadly passed in May of 2020, his legacy in inspiring Brother Rice students to lives of confidence and intellectual curiosity through excellence in Debate & Forensics will live on in speech and debate competitions in the hall that will now bear his name.
Brother Rice High School is a National Blue Ribbon School and ranked the #1 Catholic High School in Michigan for three consecutive years. A proud private educational institution located in Bloomfield Hills.