Business and Ethics / People of SU

Remembering Mike Bisesi

Written by the family of Michael Bisesi

April 30, 2019

Admin Building at Seattle U

Former SU professor embodied the spirit of community service.

Michael Ralph Bisesi, EdD, passed away April 14 at the age of 69 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. Through it all, he never lost his curiosity, intellect or wit. Mike was known for his tireless work in the field of nonprofit studies, where he was considered an authority and mentor in the field. Before his retirement, he was on the faculty of Seattle University. Prior to moving to Washington State, he held positions as Managing Director at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, Senior Vice President of the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, and Dean of Students at the University of Houston. 

Mike began his employment at Seattle University in 2001. During his nearly fifteen-year tenure as a professor at the university, Michael taught in and directed the Nonprofit Leadership master’s degree program. He always made time for his students. He had an unerring eye for ability and brought on talented full and part-time faculty. During his tenure at SU Mike authored and co-authored numerous articles and cases on nonprofits and public management. Michael was a resource for his university colleagues and administrators in the community about how to deal with organizational problems. He left his position at SU because of the limitations imposed by his health. Colleagues continued to consult with Mike about academic resources. Ever the academic, he responded promptly with his counsel. 

Mike leaves behind his wife, Chris Steele, daughter Emily Steele, granddaughter Annabella Steele, sister Betty Bisesi and husband David Lewis of Houston and brother Mark Bisesi, wife Lynn and son Paul of Denver. He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Dorothy Bisesi. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, at Seattle University’s Ecumenical Chapel (Campion Hall, 914 E. Jefferson St., Seattle 98122). 

In lieu of flowers, the Bisesi/Steele family invites donations for student scholarships in Mike's honor to Seattle University Nonprofit Leadership’s Excellence Fund.