Louisville Law alum, businessman, philanthropist visits Business Organization class

Mike Harreld, Class of 1969
Mike Harreld, Class of 1969

Mike Harreld, a 1969 graduate of the University of Louisville School of Law and retired Regional President of PNC Bank for the Greater Washington Area, was back in Louisville recently and paid a visit to Professor Tom Blackburn’s Business Organization class.

Harreld has had a decades-long banking career. He joined Citizens Fidelity Bank (predecessor to PNC) in 1969 and, in succeeding years, had executive responsibilities for the Trust and Investment Division, Correspondent Banking Division, Retail Banking Division, Marketing, Bank Operations, and the Financial Services Division. He was named president of the holding company, Citizens Fidelity Corp., in 1986, and was responsible for the nine affiliate banks in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. He became president and CEO in 1989.

Tom Blackburn Mike Harreld
Professor Tom Blackburn, left, and Louisville Law alum Mike Harreld shared a hotel room when they took the bar exam in the 1970s.

Harreld has been active in a multitude of civic affairs, particularly in higher education. He has served as a member of the boards of four Kentucky universities and, in addition, has been Chair of the Kentucky Council on Higher Education. He chairs the District of Columbia’s Workforce Investment Council and currently serves on the boards of the Federal City Council, United Way of the National Capital Area, Fight for Children and the Economic Club of Washington, DC.

To the Business Organization students, he reflected on his 50 years of work experience — mostly not as a lawyer, although he repeatedly stressed that his legal training was valuable to him every day of his career: “The most valuable thing in my career is my law school education.”

Trent Norris, a third-year student at Louisville Law, was present for Harreld's visit.

"What stuck with me from Mr. Harreld's talk was that a law degree further prepares you to succeed in all facets of life. It gives you different lenses to observe situations in, and through those, you will notice things that are not obvious to others," he says. "The critical thinking skills acquired in law school allow for a deeper understanding of business issues and more thorough solutions to those issues."