2012 Tillman Scholar

Jeff Mueller

Marine Corps
Columbia University

On the morning of September 11th, everything changed for Jeff. Immediately after the second tower fell, he called his mom to tell her he had decided to join the Marine Corps. Jeff completed Officer Candidate School in the summer of 2002 and then spent nearly 10 years flying in F/A-18 Hornets.

While flying combat missions in Iraq, Jeff was honored to have the opportunity to play a guardian angel-type role to the men and women on the ground. The ability to be in a position to truly tip the scales in a firefight while protecting the bravest men and women of his generation was and remains one of Jeff’s proudest moments as an active duty Marine.   

Inspired by a book he read in Iraq by Ben Graham, Warren Buffett’s professor at Columbia University, Jeff applied to Columbia Business School and was accepted. He graduated with Honors and Distinction in 2013. Jeff is eternally grateful for the support he received from the Tillman Foundation while in business school.

Jeff impacts his community through example and service. He is currently a partner at Polen Capital Management, an investment firm based in Boca Raton, Florida and teaches as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School. Jeff also gives motivational speeches to high school students in South Florida on the importance of living a life of character, service and integrity. Jeff continues to serve his country as a Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.