The Marquette University community mourns the loss of one of its dearest friends and benefactors, Dr. Michael Kubly. Michael graduated from Marquette’s medical school (now the Medical College of Wisconsin) in 1963 and practiced as an orthopedic surgeon for more than five decades. Dedicated in 2015, the Charles E. Kubly Mental Health Research Center in the College of Health Sciences is named in honor of Michael and Mrs. Billie Kubly’s son, Charlie, a former Marquette graduate student. The Center is committed to mental health research and eliminating the stigma associated with the disease of depression.
Two of the Kublys’ seven children earned degrees from Marquette. William is a 1990 graduate of the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, and Kerry (Kubly) Bolger is a 1994 Arts and Sciences graduate.
“Dr. Michael Kubly was a devoted father and husband, and he truly lived a life in service to others through his hard work and dedication to his patients,” said President Michael R. Lovell. “We greatly appreciate his generosity and important work in advancing science and research at institutions throughout our city. Our prayers of love, support and peace go out to his wife and our dear friend, Billie, and to their entire family, as we are immensely saddened by this loss.”
The impact of the Kublys’ generosity can be felt not only at Marquette, but throughout Milwaukee. They established the Charles E. Kubly Foundation after their son, Charlie, lost his battle with the disease of depression and died of suicide in 2003. The Foundation aims to eliminate the stigma that surrounds the disease and to help people with depression access resources in their communities.
The Foundation endowed the Charles E. Kubly Chair in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and it established the Charles E. Kubly Child Psychiatry Access Project Endowed Fund, which supports mental health awareness training for primary care providers.
In 2015, President Lovell announced that the Kublys gave a personal gift of $5 million to the College of Health Sciences to establish the Charles E. Kubly Mental Health Research Center. The transformative gift provided funding for cutting-edge research into the underlying causes of mental illness.
When he announced the gift, President Lovell said, “It’s been said that the brain is the final frontier of medicine, and that mental health problems should be studied with the same voracity as heart disease or cancer.”
Billie said of the gift, “People don’t often fund research into diseases like depression. It’s an important area of study, and it’s one that needs more attention.”
Shortly after, the Kublys also donated $2.5 million to the Rogers Memorial Hospital Foundation to support residential treatment for young adults with depression and mood disorders.
“Dr. Michael Kubly will be remembered as an exceptionally kind and caring physician and surgeon and a terrific person,” said Dr. William E. Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “His generosity was boundless. The transformational gift that he and his wife Billie have made to advance mental health research within the College of Health Sciences at Marquette University is something for which we will be forever grateful.”