First-generation students will have new opportunity at Marquette University thanks to a generous $1 million gift from alumnus Barry C. Cosgrove and his wife, Ingrid. The gift will support student recipients in the College of Business Administration and those majoring in journalism.
“Barry is another outstanding product of Marquette’s Educational Opportunity Program – a program that will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary,” said President Michael R. Lovell. “We’re grateful that he’s now creating opportunities for others, opening similar paths for students into the future.”
Cosgrove, a 1979 graduate and first-generation college student, is one of the founders of DaVita dialysis centers and currently serves as president, CEO and chairman of Blackmore Partners. He also is one of the founding members of Marquette’s new President’s Advisory Council. In April, the university recognized him with its 2019 Alumni Professional Achievement Award.
“The generosity of others gave me the opportunity to attend Marquette,” Cosgrove said. “Now, I’m happy to do the same for future students.”
The Marion Krug Cosgrove Endowed Scholarship will be named in memory of Cosgrove’s mother, whom he remembered for her decency, hard work and resiliency.
“Barry and Ingrid’s philanthropic leadership reflects our emphasis on endowed scholarship as our greatest university-wide funding priority,” said Tim McMahon, vice president for University Advancement. “Working alongside them on this gift reinforced for me the strength of Marquette’s values among our generous alumni and friends.”
Marquette’s current student population represents the most diverse student body in its history. Approximately one in five Marquette students is a first-generation college student, and a quarter are students of color. Scholarship gifts are life-changing for these prospective students, their families and the community.
EOP as inspiration
Cosgrove’s gift stems from his own time at Marquette as a student in one of the nation’s first Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) under the leadership of Dr. Arnold Mitchem and Marquette President Emeritus Rev. John P. Raynor, S.J. Marquette’s nationally-recognized EOP program, which became a federal program in 1969 based on Marquette’s example, provides assistance, mentorship and support for low income, first-generation, and minority students. It will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.
“Those who most often get caught in the struggle of higher education costs are the same students who most need a fair chance at the advantages of a Marquette education,” Cosgrove said. “My hope is that this scholarship provides low income, first-generation students a chance to build their skills and confidence. Their dreams are just as important and achievable as those who are fortunate to grow up in a more privileged environment.”
Cosgrove credits EOP with teaching him about leadership, empathy and concern for others. “It took a lot of guts for Marquette to put a program like this in place during a very complex time in U.S. history,” he said. “Today, the Marquettes of the world are more important than ever.”