As we enter into Holy Week, I’ve been reflecting upon how grateful I am to be part of the Marquette community. I am proud to be at a university where we emphasize and live out cura personalis — caring for the whole person. I am grateful to be at an institution where we strive to help each other achieve success in all aspect of our lives. In the last four years, I’ve come to know Marquette as a caring community where decency and civil discourse can co-exist. Through our collective ability to reflect and discern, we have gotten to know one another and remained collegial in a politically polarized world where others are quick to portray incidents through a lens of personal partisan politics.
I have come to realize that what differentiates Marquette from other institutions is that we deeply care for one another and value decency. Pope Francis once stated, “How beautiful it would be if we all could admire how much we care for one another, how we encourage and help one another.”
I see this beauty and decency in every corner of campus each day through the way we encourage and truly care for one another. It is the student who waits to hold the church door for the stranger struggling through the cold. It is the professor who goes the extra mile, extending her office hours to give her student every possible opportunity to succeed. Decency is found on a mountainside among three young engineering students who sit patiently with a stranded hiker they have never met. It is our student athletes, who give up their Saturday to help a staff member move.
In his beautiful 2017 Easter remarks in Vatican Square, Pope Francis delivered a message that has special significance for the meaningful work on our Catholic, Jesuit campus.
He called on “the risen Jesus” to sustain the efforts of those “committed to ensuring the common good of societies marked at times by political and social tensions.” He went on to pray, “May it be possible for bridges of dialogue to be built, by continuing to fight the scourge of corruption and to seek viable and peaceful solutions to disputes.”
When I first arrived to serve on this remarkable campus, a proud Marquette alumnus stuck his hand out and said, “Welcome to the Marquette family.” Since that day, I quickly learned that Marquette is a tight-knit and passionate community where people hold each other up rather than tear each other down. As you leave your Marquette family to spend time with your family back home this Easter, I wish you all peace and hope.
The risen Jesus is our most powerful reminder that good ultimately triumphs over evil, and decency will always defeat incivility.
Dr. Michael R. Lovell