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2021 Commencement

The Commencement Address

Maureen Conley, A.A., B.A., J.D., will provide the commencement address to the Class of 2021.

Born and raised in Petoskey, Maureen graduated from North Central with an Associate of Arts degree in 1976 before finishing her bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan.  Inspired by many spirited debates with her father on issues ranging from politics to religion, she earned her terminal degree: a juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School.

Maureen has enjoyed a successful career in commercial real estate law.  She has represented national clients in the acquisition, development, finance, sale and leasing of shopping centers, enclosed malls, outlet centers, office and mixed-use projects, restaurants, and multifamily communities.   Maureen has negotiated complex real estate agreements with national retailers, restaurants and manufacturers, and has guided multifamily clients through numerous HUD-insured financings. 

From 2010–2017, Maureen served as in-house counsel with a multifamily real estate company.  Her work included the finance and purchase of new communities; HUD-insured financings; acquiring condo units in Florida; managing community associations; and acquiring entire condominium communities utilizing an eminent domain-type power granted by Florida statute. 

In addition to her law practice, Maureen co-owned a successful business offering electrostatic coating for antique and classic car restoration.

A lifelong student, Maureen has learned how to weld, operate a forklift, lathe, drill press and a sand blaster.  She has studied the Bible, Christianity, Catholicism, LEED green building principles, sign language, Tai Chi, tap dance, and Christian Conciliation. Maureen enjoys hiking nature trails and beaches, finding Petoskey stones on the shore, skiing and playing ping-pong.

One of Maureen's great passions is "paying it forward" with pro bono legal services, helping individuals prepare themselves and their loved ones for life's most trying and complicated milestones, including illness and disability.