Thomas Burke Memorial Scholarship

This campaign ended on July 01, 2019, but you can still make a gift to Hillsdale College by clicking here!

Thomas Burke, 2004 Hillsdale alumnus, passed away suddenly of a heart attack on November 12, 2017. "Burkie," as he was affectionately known by his College friends and ATO brothers, played varsity soccer at Hillsdale and was elected President of his senior class. 

After his time at Hillsdale, Thomas joined the Central Intelligence Agency as an operations officer and dedicated himself to collecting, reporting and securing the nation's classified information for 10 years. He was deployed across the Middle East, South Asia and Europe--often in combat zones. He was consistently known for putting his country and colleagues ahead of his own life, receiving numerous awards for his service. After a decade of service, Thomas left the Agency and was preparing to start a new business. He passed away while visiting family. 

In a Collegian article memorializing his life, Thomas is quoted as saying he "wanted to help create an environment where Americans could be safe to live their lives [and] not have to worry about their security in the process." This was the kind of man Thomas Burke was--he lived for others and, in doing so, he sacrificed much. 

Thomas is remembered by his family, friends and colleagues as possessing the kind of character and courage worthy of representing our great country and, his great College. Thomas loved his Hillsdale College experience, especially time spent with his ATO brothers. He continued to stay connected to the College as an alumnus, giving his time and treasure where and how he could. Thomas was only able to attend Hillsdale due to others' generosity in the form of scholarships and financial aid, and he was grateful for it.

It is only fitting that his family, friends, ATO brothers and colleagues set up a scholarship in Thomas's name, with the hope of endowing it into perpetuity. Our goal is to raise $50,000 to endow a scholarship in order that Burkie's legacy will live on in the lives of other students like him.

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