McGury is also a vital member of the North Central College Enactus team, working with fellow students on entrepreneurial projects. Faculty advisor and Associate Professor of Accounting Jerry Thalmann feels that McGury has distinguished himself with his leadership.
“Connor has been the most effective leader that the Enactus team has encountered during my 18 years of advising, even though he has never held or run for an official position,” Thalmann said. “When at competition, a crisis arose where he demonstrated his maturity, making it difficult to remember that he was a student and not a contemporary.”
As part of an outreach project for Enactus, McGury collaborated with North Central Trustee Jim McDermet M ’92, retired senior vice president of Starbucks, and Thalmann to research options for creating a coffee laboratory and bringing a coffee roaster on campus.
“[Connor] represented North Central College with poise when meeting with executives from industry leaders to pitch the project,” Thalmann wrote in a Lincoln Laureate nomination letter.
McGury worked directly with McDermet on a proposal to Probat, one of the largest coffee roaster manufacturers in the world. They are hoping to use the coffee lab to create more interdisciplinary, high-impact learning experiences on campus.
In addition to bringing together students, faculty, alumni and trustees, the coffee project also serves an underrepresented group far from campus. “Coffee is the second most heavily traded commodity, next to oil, and we’re creating a sustainable business model that farmers and others can use,” said McGury. “The idea behind our coffee is we want to use our campus to connect with and give voice to small farmers in Guatemala, helping them gain access to new markets.”
Having made the most of his collegiate career so far, McGury is well aware of the significant impact made by North Central, as well. “My experience at North Central has been incredible,” McGury said. “I’ve been able to customize my education and have been exposed to a lot of new ideas and beliefs that have all made me a better person.”