Going Beyond Boundaries: Marquette makes strides on strategic plan themes, priorities

During the 2021-22 academic year, Marquette University took major steps forward to execute on the goal themes in the university’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries, as well as five strategic priorities laid out last September.

Following is a snapshot of some of the strides made last year across the Beyond Boundaries goal themes and strategic priorities:

THEME: Pursuit of Academic Excellence for Human Well-being

Strategic priorities: Student Success, Graduate and Online Programs

$15 million gift to propel new Student Success Center

President Michael R. Lovell announced in February that alumnus Marcus Lemonis, television star and chairman and CEO of Camping World, and his wife Bobbi donated $15 million to create the Lemonis Center for Student Success, giving the university the foundation necessary to springboard its priority around student success.

The Lemonis Center for Student Success will provide wraparound services for students across all majors, academic abilities, and backgrounds to enrich and expand student opportunities from the moment they step on campus until they graduate. Building on Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit tradition, the Lemonis Center will help students engage in thoughtful discernment that is infused in Ignatian education, emphasizing a deep sense of connection and meaningful engagement.

In recognition of the transformational gift, which will support resources, programs and the capital investment, Marquette will rename Memorial Library to the Lemonis Center for Student Success and house the new center in the highly visible, centrally located space on West Wisconsin Avenue and 13th Street.

Read more about the Lemonis Center.

Marquette online education surges

Marquette continues to expand its online education offerings to meet the evolving needs of students, particularly within the Graduate School. The Graduate School boasts several new online degree programs that empower students to earn their masters or doctorate degrees in a way that is conducive to busy schedules that require flexibility.

The Graduate School started with three online programs — today, there are 19 different graduate and undergraduate programs that are either fully online or in flexible or hybrid format.

Read this brief Q&A where Dr. Douglas Woods, dean of the Graduate School, gives some insight on the importance of online higher education, new online programs, the interest they have generated and more.

THEME: Research in Action

Strategic priority: Research

Marquette logs third year of record research expenditures; NSF grantees recognized

At his annual campuswide address in early 2021, President Lovell announced that, for the third year in a row, the university in 2021 had a record year for research, with $13.9 million in federally funded research and development expenditures. Marquette has had a 70% increase in federally funded research expenditures over the past 7 years.

At the same address, President Lovell also highlighted Somesh Roy, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Dr. Karen Andeen, associate professor of physics; and Dr. Satish Puri, assistant professor of computer science, for each winning a National Science Foundation CAREER Grant. Three NSF CAREER awards in one year is a Marquette record.

Did you miss the 2021-22 Presidential Address? Read more or watch online.

English professor’s book, “Rhetorical Crosssover: The Black Presence in White Culture,” earns top honors

Dr. Cedric Burrows, assistant professor of English, was hailed for making a major contribution to rhetorical scholarship with his new book, “Rhetorical Crossover: The Black Presence in White Culture,” which explores the movement of the Black rhetorical presence in mainstream spaces both historically and currently. The National Council of Teachers of English recognized the book with its highest honor for scholarship, the 2021 David H. Russell Distinguished Research Award.

“Burrows’ dynamic book shows us exactly where African American rhetoric has always already been and makes the reader feel the cultural impact of blackness that can’t be denied,” states colleague Gwendolyn Pough, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities in women’s and gender studies at Syracuse University, in announcing the award.

Read more about Burrows’ “Rhetorical Crossover” from Marquette’s Discover Magazine.

THEME: A Culture of Inclusion

Strategic priority: Enrollment

New initiatives, updated seal seek to honor university’s connection to Native American history

Marquette made several significant advances toward better acknowledging and honoring the long history of Native peoples and nations that lived on and stewarded the land and water where the university now resides.

In October 2021, Marquette partnered with the Native American Student Association to create a land and water acknowledgment that celebrates the unbroken connection Native people and nations still have to this land and waterways, their traditional territories. Available online, the land and water acknowledgment is meant to be read aloud at the beginning of any event hosted on Marquette’s campus, either in person or virtually. Read more.

Marquette in early 2022 unveiled an updated university seal to better reflect Marquette’s history, tradition and Catholic, Jesuit mission, and more accurately depict the role of the Indigenous nations that guided Father Marquette on his journey. “University seals are important symbols meant to celebrate an institution’s founding, heritage and purpose, and these often complex histories deserve thoughtful, reverential illustrations of our pasts,” President Lovell said. Read more.

In May, Marquette and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College in Hayward, Wisconsin, announced a comprehensive partnership that establishes a clear path for students from the tribal college to attend Marquette, as well as future educational opportunities for students at both institutions, propelled by a gift from the Eck Family Foundation to endow a scholarship for one LCOOC student each year to attend Marquette. Read more.

THEME: Social Responsibility through Community Engagement

Marquette, UWM partner for ‘President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge’ to address poverty

Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with support from the Johnson Controls Foundation, have announced a new partnership, the “President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge: A Crosstown Collaboration to Address Poverty,” which will focus on poverty, its root causes and its subsequent effects on members of Milwaukee’s various communities.

The President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge will provide funding for interdisciplinary teams of faculty, staff and students from Marquette and UWM to partner on innovative and collaborative work that represents critical areas in the community’s efforts to stem the rise of poverty. Partnerships with community organizations are highly encouraged.

Learn more about the challenge and how to submit a proposal.

THEME: Formation of Hearts and Minds

A student wears his UAP bracelets during the Ignatian Year lunch.

Cannonball moment: celebrating the Ignatian Year

Over the 2021-22 academic year, the Marquette community celebrated the “Ignatian Year,” a yearlong series of events that will conclude on July 31. The Ignatian Year marked the 500th anniversary of Ignatius of Loyola’s fateful encounter with a cannonball at Pamplona — an event that set him on the spiritual journey which led to the formation of the Society of Jesus. The year also recognized the 400th anniversary of the canonizations of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier.

The Ignatian Year called all members of the global Ignatian family to reflection and renewal and to a deeper integration of the Ignatian Spiritual Heritage into all Jesuit sponsored works.

Learn more about the Ignatian Year.

THEME: Sustainability of Valuable Resources

Strategic priorities: Enrollment, Student Success, Stewardship of Resources

Marquette has banner year for enrollment, fundraising

As of National Decision Day (May 1, 2022) Marquette was poised to bring in one of its largest first-year classes in recent years with 2,027 incoming students committed to join the Class of 2026. Although not the official incoming class census for fall 2022, the figure represents a 21.5% increase over 2021.

The diversity of the student body improved, as well. Based on the May 1 numbers, just over 30% of the incoming class identifies as a student of color, a 10.5% increase over last year. The number of Black or African American students increased by 32% and Hispanic/Latino students increased by 4%. And, true to the university’s Catholic, Jesuit mission and heritage, first-generation students make up over 23% of the incoming class, and 186 students hail from Jesuit high schools, the most in recent years.

Importantly, Marquette increased its class size and furthered its commitment to academic excellence. The incoming class boasts an average GPA of 3.57 — the same as last year — and standardized test scores for those who submitted them improved. The class’s average SAT score is 1275, a 6-point increase over last year, and their average ACT score increased 0.4 points to 27.9. Additionally, an impressive 14% of the Class of 2026 has been accepted and committed to the Honors Program.

Marquette reached a major fundraising milestone midway through the academic year. In November 2021, President Lovell announced that that the university’s Time to Rise campaign surpassed $500 million in funds raised toward its $750 million goal. Marquette’s $750 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, which is the most ambitious in Marquette’s 140-year history, is elevating resources to advance the university’s mission and pillars of excellence, leadership, faith and service.

As of the end of the fiscal year, the university had raised more than $588 million, amounting to 78% of its goal. More than 56,000 donors have already supported Time to Rise, including 46% of donors making their first-ever gift to the university.

Learn more about Time to Rise.

Watch Marquette Today for more updates on how the university is going Beyond Boundaries.