Dr. James (Jim) McMahon died last Thursday, Jan. 3; he was associate vice president for student affairs and dean of residence life at Marquette from 1993 to 2016.
Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Xavier Cole said McMahon’s death is a tremendous loss for the Division of Student Affairs and for Marquette. “We will greatly miss Jim, his humor, and his love and commitment to Marquette,” Cole said.
McMahon grew up in Buffalo, New York, and earned a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Cortland. He earned a master’s degree at Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. While working as a hall director at University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, he met his wife, Janet.
McMahon was an active member of the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International, serving on the program committee, and as chair of the Educational Benchmarking Incorporated Assessment Committee and host chair of the 2005 International Housing Conference held in Milwaukee.
After his retirement in 2016, McMahon continued his commitment to lifelong learning by taking classes at Marquette.
McMahon’s career in higher education made an impact on many. Rick Arcuri, director of business operations and auxiliary services at Marquette, called him a true advocate for students. “Jim poured his heart into Marquette to make it a place where students could become leaders. He always considered how a decision would impact students, looking out for their best interests.”
Mary Janz, director of residence life, remembers McMahon’s infectious positivity. “He was fair, kind, and brought a love and enthusiasm for our Catholic, Jesuit traditions. Jim loved cheering on Marquette Basketball and representing Marquette at conferences all over the country. He was a fantastic supervisor.”
McMahon is survived by his wife Janet, sons Kevin and Connor, daughters-in-law Jesslyn and Melissa, and grandsons Camden and Tyler. Kevin, Connor and Jesslyn are Marquette alumni. Please remember McMahon, his family and friends in prayer.
A visitation will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa; a memorial service will follow. More information is online.