MAG Member Spotlight

Tim Kuhn, AB ’02, Major, U.S. Marine Corps

In this column, we get to know our MAG members, people who share a connection with the MAG, and anyone in the University community that shares our interest in military and veterans issues. This week, we shine the spotlight on Tim Kuhn, AB ’02. Tim is a lawyer in the Marine Corps and recently started to volunteer with the MAG.

Tell us about your connection to the University, and how you came to serve in the Marine Corps.
I’m a 2002 graduate of the College, majoring in economics. Early in my undergrad years, I followed the well-trodden path of my fellow “econ” majors, taking an internship at a major financial institution and trying to shape my job prospects for the future. While engaging and exciting, those experiences left me wanting a different variety of challenge and professional fulfillment. So, in the summer before my senior year, I attended and graduated Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. I returned to school in the fall, and a few hours after spring convocation ceremonies, two classmates and I stood in the main quad and took the oath of office. 15 years later, I’m still in uniform.

Where has your career taken you?
From Japan to California to Iraq, and many places in between, I have been fortunate to experience life in a large chunk of this world and in many different circumstances. I have worked in humanitarian service operations and served in active conflict, each time learning new life lessons and carrying them forward. I am grateful that my service afforded me advanced educational opportunities, and through those programs I went to law school and have served as a judge advocate since 2010.

Does your University of Chicago education influence your service?
More than 15 years after graduating the College, I can still recall many of the titanic authors, texts, and historical lessons from my Core classes. Our best military leaders can recall them just as well. Our current Secretary of Defense, the legendary Marine General James Mattis, can quote Greek classics with precision. I’m no James Mattis, but the lessons I learned through my Core experience make me a better military leader, no matter what the task.

You recently started volunteering with the MAG. What are your personal goals for the group?
I volunteered with the MAG because I wanted to help shine a light on the great things that the University’s military-affiliated alumni do in the community, country, and the world. To me, it’s incredibly important to show that the University of Chicago educates and graduates this country’s best and brightest, and that some of those individuals seek to lead this country into the future while wearing a uniform. For that reason, I’ll author this column in the future instead of being its subject!

If you would like to share a story about your university-military connection or interests, please contact Tim Kuhn at We’d love to feature you in our next newsletter!