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John P. Burke Biography

A Life of Service and Leadership

John P. Burke was born on November 13, 1931, in Thompsonville, Connecticut. He would attend and graduate from The College of the Holy Cross in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Burke would go on to serve in the United States Army in Korea and, after his discharge from the Army, work for IBM for several years in the Waterbury area. He began his lifelong career in banking shortly thereafter. Employed at Centerbank for more than a decade, Burke served as the institution’s President and CEO for eight years. Under his leadership, Centerbank flourished and almost tripled in size.

Following his time with Centerbank, Burke served as President and CEO of Security Savings & Loan Association from 1990 to 1992 before moving on as the President and CEO of Bristol Savings Bank. In 1994, he was appointed Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Banking by Governor John G. Rowland. By the time of this appointment, Burke spent 30 very successful years in the banking industry and over a decade in leadership roles.

As Banking Commissioner, Burke helped offer a framework for Connecticut’s laws pertaining to commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, consumer credit, broker-dealers, investment advisers, securities, tender offers, and business opportunities. In this role, Burke oversaw the supervision of 44 state-chartered banks and thrifts, six foreign banking institutions that maintained banking operations in Connecticut, and 41 state-chartered credit unions.

Retiring in 2004, Burke was well-respected as Banking Commissioner for the decade he spent in this office, accepting reappointments to the position in 1999 and then again in 2003 for a third term. He was also an ex officio member of the Board of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority as well as a member of both the Board of Directors of the Community Economic Development Fund Foundation and the Connecticut Economic Conference Board.

Throughout his distinguished career in banking, Burke dedicated much of his personal time and energy to community service. He served on the Board of Waterbury Hospital, the Board of Directors of the Waterbury Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation. Notably, Burke also served on the Board of what was then known as Teikyo Post University.

Today, the values and principles that define Burke’s legacy continue to be embraced throughout the state of Connecticut and here at Post University. In 2012, in appreciation for his commitment to community service and standout public service career, we made him an indelible part of our community by naming our school the John P. Burke School of Public Service and Education. We are proud to continue his work by offering programs focused on advocacy, social justice, equity, capacity-building, diversity, community engagement, and other crucial areas which align with the values and legacy of Mr. John P. Burke

Defining the Man and the School

At the John P. Burke School of Public Service and Education, we seek to make the values and principles illustrated throughout our namesakes career a very real part of our organization and curriculum. We are proud to continuously strive to embody the following:

  • Activism
  • Advocacy
  • Beneficence
  • Community Engagement
  • Community Leadership
  • Diversity
  • Empowerment
  • Equity
  • Inclusion
  • Public Service
  • Social Justice
  • Social Responsibility