Michael McCloud '85

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Michael McCloud '85 believes in Sigma Nu. He will even go so far as to say that being involved with Sigma Nu was one of the biggest milestones of his life. But Mike goes beyond just saying he supports our fraternity; he puts his money—and his time—behind his words. Mike's not crazy about getting public credit for what he's done, but his active support of our chapter kept the house intact in the last decade, paving the way for our current revitalization.

Mike gives Sigma Nu the highest possible compliment: he credits the fraternity for his success. "My experiences with the fraternity were more important (to my life) than school—more of an education," Mike says. "You learn how to get things done and work with 60 other people, who just happen to be your best friends...The confidence that gives you is invaluable. It transfers outside of the fraternity...and ultimately to life."

After graduating in 1985, Mike stayed involved with the chapter because he thought it was important to give back to the organization that had played such a defining role in his life. He acted as an unofficial chapter advisor and became the house corporation president in the early 1990s after Pat McKenna pleaded with him to take over. So it was Mike that the Atlanta Olympic Committee approached when Georgia Tech was chosen to serve as Olympic Village for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The Sigma Nu house would have to be brought up to code in order to house the athletes, he was told, and it was a long way from meeting codes. "I suggested that we could just close down the house (during the Olympics)," Mike said. "But the AOC said they'd simply have it condemned."

There was no alternative but to do a quick renovation. Frank Spears and Mike quickly put together a plan that would keep the house from being condemned and taken away from the fraternity. "It wasn't a great job, we had two years to raise the money and complete the renovation" he says now of the work done on the house. "But we survived."

Mike gives current House Corporation President Gary Jones '71 credit for the forward momentum the chapter is now experiencing. "Gary came in and started everything over." And Mike is happy to support those efforts, both financially and philosophically. "I owe my success to my fraternity experience," he says in explaining why he is supporting the capital campaign. "It is important to me that we provide that same chance to other young men."

Mike thinks his initial involvement with Sigma Nu was pretty typical. He joined because he had a lot in common with the other men of the house, and he knew a couple of brothers, including Bruce Wheeler and Steve Stansel He enjoyed the typical activities: football games and band parties at the house. "The fraternity was a great place to commiserate with others about school and a great place to get help," he says. "It was the center of our social life...a way to deal with the stresses of school." Mike's fondest memories include constant antics from Mark Fouraker (Grandpa – because he reminded his brothers of Grandpa from the Munsters), bailing Scott Little out of jail after he led campus police in a high speed chase around campus, and taking Rollo, the fraternity dog, to class with him.

Mike's first year in the house was in the Mike Room, so named because he shared it with Mike Gross and Mike Flagg. He still keeps in touch with the other two Mikes. He then moved into the Mom's Room—the former house mother's room—where he stayed until graduation. He shared that room with Tom Carney and Don Gee, and later, Greg Davidson. Mike's wife, Terri, of 20 years was roommates with Tom Carney's girlfriend and Greg Davidson's girl friend.

Tom and Mike were even officers together. Mike started his service to the chapter his sophomore year, when he was pool commander. The following year, he was house treasurer, then commander his senior year.

"The fraternity budget was something like $160,000, and we were responsible for it," he notes. "We had an employee, a mortgage...it was a big job and we had no experience, but we couldn't get fired for making a mistake! That responsibility pushes you to do things you might not have done otherwise."

Proving himself at Sigma Nu also gave Mike the confidence and the desire to pursue other leadership opportunities. He served as the Inter-fraternity Council's treasurer and belonged to ANAK, Georgia Tech's secret society for juniors and seniors. He was also involved with FACET, which was the university's freshman orientation program. Always putting Sigma Nu first, Mike says, "It was fun and important to the school, but it also gave you exposure to the freshman, so it was a great tool for Rush."

Mike credits his leadership activities at Sigma Nu for his first job, with Procter & Gamble. "P & G only interviewed people with leadership experience," he says. "They loved guys from fraternities because of all the experience it gave them....I wouldn't be where I am right now without Sigma Nu."

Where he is right now is owner of Uptown Bakers, a commercial bakery in Hyattsville, Maryland that provides artisan breads and pastries to hotels and restaurants throughout the Baltimore and Washington, DC region. Mike decided long ago that he wanted to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He was well on his way to that goal 10 years ago when fate stepped in: just as he took the job as president of Vie de France in Washington, DC, his wife, Terri, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"She was 34; we had a two-year-old, and we were just in the process of moving," Mike recalls. His wife decided to stay in Atlanta for treatment, which allowed for Mike and Terri's parents to help look after their son. But after a year, Mike decided he couldn't continue to work apart from his wife. "It was another milestone," Mike says.

He was consulting with small businesses, helping them prepare to be sold or go public, when Uptown Bakers called asking for his help. A year later, in 2002, Mike bought the business. It's not what he envisioned himself doing, Mike says, "but priorities change."

He's happy to report that his wife is now doing well. They will celebrate their 20th anniversary this August. Another milestone, all the more special because of what they've gone through to get there.

Mike and Terri are supporters of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. But Mike's real commitment is to Sigma Nu, and we're all better off because of it.