It’s easier to describe what Michael “Mickey” Maurer ’60 hasn’t done in his life than to try and pinpoint what accomplishment has defined him. An admittedly late-blooming student, what Maurer had was ambition and an unsatisfied itch to do something. An 8th grade job leading ponies around an amusement center was too dirty for Maurer, who used his own distaste for that hard labor to power his desire for success. After graduating from the University of Colorado, he returned to Indiana to attend law school in Bloomington, a school that now bears his name.
Maurer admits he has a short attention span, which he views as a hindrance to being successful. Rather than find something he was good at and focus on it, he would hop from one opportunity to the next. In making several mistakes, however, he learned what it took to be successful. One such mistake was boasting that he would ‘start his own bank’ when walking away from the board of another financial institution out of frustration. He wishes he had never said it, but felt obligated (call it professional ego) to live up to his claim. The product of that boast is The National Bank of Indianapolis.
“Entrepreneurs think they can do everything, but they can’t,” Maurer reflects. “When you find out you are really wrong, you find people you can.”
Maurer’s ability to hire the right people has led to several successful ventures in media, owning multiple radio stations in town, and still serving as chairman of the board at IBJ Inc., which manages the Indianapolis Business Journal amongst other entities. Maurer is a regular columnist to the paper. His success in business and development led to a role in Mitch Daniel’s administration while governor. Maurer served for two years as the state’s secretary of commerce.
His thirst for activity, however, never ends. He has authored multiple books, won awards for underwater photography, produced a feature-length film, contributed to The New York Times crossword puzzle, and even won a blue ribbon at the Indiana State Fair for woodworking. If it involves staying busy, including a daily CrossFit workout, Maurer is there.