Les Aspin Center celebrates 35 years; founder, director Father O’Brien to retire

The 2022-23 academic year marks the 35th anniversary of the Les Aspin Center for Government, which will kick off a series of celebrations. University leaders will commemorate the milestone with celebrations in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, and an on-campus dinner Tuesday, May 30, 2023.  

In a letter to alumni, parents and friends, Rev. Timothy J. O’Brien wrote, “After considerable reflection and discernment, I have decided that this commemorative year is the right time to announce my retirement.” The longtime founder and director of the Les Aspin Center will continue to serve in his role until June 30, 2023. 

“This Center started as a dream shaped from my own internship experience in Congressman Jerry Kleczka’s office,” Father O’Brien said. “Thanks to your passionate support, we have evolved into one of Marquette’s premier and most sought-after programs. I am incredibly honored to know that we have touched lives and positively influenced the careers of more than 3,000 students leading in Congress and serving in public offices across the globe. When I reflect on what we have collectively accomplished, I also am grateful to know that our next Les Aspin Center director will inherit a strong foundation that is positioned to flourish far into the future.”     

Dr. Heidi Bostic, dean of the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education, has asked Rana Altenburg, associate vice president of public affairs, and Emily Baseheart, managing director of development, college advancement, to serve as co-chairs of the 35th anniversary celebration. The search for the next director is underway with a permanent director expected to be in place in summer 2023.