In 9th annual address, President Lovell shows Marquette beginning 2023 with extraordinary momentum

President Michael R. Lovell in his 9th annual Presidential Address on Jan. 25, 2023, highlighted the major steps forward Marquette took over the past year to execute on the goal themes in the university’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries. President Lovell used the themes as a roadmap for a speech that appropriately captured the university’s strength and energy as we begin 2023.

“2022 was a year of great strides for Marquette University,” President Lovell said. “We have so much momentum going forward. We are in such a position to be successful.”

President Lovell and his leadership team aim to capitalize on Marquette’s momentum into 2030, as he discussed the university’s Strategic Planning 2030 effort announced last November.

In his favorite part of his annual address, President Lovell celebrated campus Difference Makers, featuring honorees from the past year in a highlight video and introducing the next Difference Maker, Katie Mertz, director of pro bono and public service in the Marquette Law School.

President Lovell also announced the winners of the 2022 President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge, a partnership with the Johnson Controls Foundation and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. This challenge focused on the urgent issue of poverty, its root causes and its subsequent effects on members of the community. Awardees included:

  • Changing the Story: The Story Fellow Program — A cross-campus team based in the humanities that aims to create a sustainable, yearlong, asset-based program to engage students to facilitate storying in partnership with community groups affected by poverty across Milwaukee.
  • Expanding access to tele-mental health services for young adults living in poverty in Milwaukee through listening and learning from our community — This pilot project is addressing mental health and access to health care for the most socially vulnerable populations in Milwaukee within the larger context of the social determinants of health and the socioecological mental health and well-being model.
  • Healing Adversity and Trauma through Conversation and Hope (HATCH) — HATCH is a Milwaukee-based initiative that integrates three models of social support or mental health care into W2 (Wisconsin Works) and prison reentry services.

Student experience on display with Carl Collective, Student-Made Marquette, Blue & Gold Brewing

Highlighting the experiential learning opportunities that are a hallmark of a Marquette education, President Lovell acknowledged the Marquette students who are part of Carl Collective, a Milwaukee-based communications firm co-created with a Marquette communication alumnus where students work alongside professionals to provide high-level solutions to clients.

President Lovell also announced a new student program, Student-Made Marquette, a concept that emerged from the 707 Hub. Student-Made Marquette is an online marketplace hosted by Marquette to directly support student entrepreneurs. According to President Lovell, Marquette will be the first school in the Midwest to offer this sort of program for students. Scheduled to launch on February 1, the site will feature artwork and wears for sale, all made by Marquette students.

In an eagerly anticipated announcement that has been brewing on social media, President Lovell unveiled a new student venture, Blue & Gold Brewing LLC. This private label Marquette-affiliated beer producer comes out of Blue and Gold Ventures, the student-run business program in the College of Business Administration, and is a unique partnership with Marquette alumni brewing leaders.

Blue & Gold Brewing student leaders Gracie Pionek, Connor Nelson, Will Dales and Jackson Cosgriff will officially debut their first beer, ’77 — a Golden Ale, at this year’s National Marquette Day celebration on Saturday, Feb. 4, at Fiserv Forum.

“These are very unique and innovative ways we can provide experiences to our students while they are still on campus,” President Lovell said.

Diversity, equity and inclusion efforts focus on improving campus climate; new Land and Water Acknowledgement marker announced

President Lovell also noted Marquette’s progress and continued efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. Marquette now has the most diverse student body in its history. The first-year class included 30% students of color, of which 6% were African American and 15% were Hispanic. Percentages of Black and Hispanic students have doubled since 2014. The freshman class also consisted of 23% first-generation students. Marquette’s Urban Scholars program continued to have success as the university brought in 46 new scholars last fall and retained 43 of the 44 scholars from last year.

President Lovell noted that Navia will continue the work to move Marquette from emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution status to full HSI status, and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion recently developed an interactive map outlining the resources on campus to support a culture of inclusion and belonging.

President Lovell pointed specifically to significant advances the university has made 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, as he announced the installation of a new Land and Water Acknowledgment marker to be unveiled soon on Eckstein Common near the AMU.

New sustainability task force to focus on ‘care for our common home’

In response to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ on “care for our common home” and the Vatican’s Laudato si’ Action Platform, President Lovell announced the formation of a campuswide Laudato si’ Action Plan Task Force to be led by Rev. Jim Voiss, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry; Lora Strigens, vice president for facilities and planning; and Chelsea Malacara, campus sustainability coordinator. The task force will look to expand upon the university’s recent sustainability efforts and help create a deeper culture of sustainability across campus.

2022 a banner year for faculty research

Following the third consecutive year of record federally supported research and development expenditures at Marquette, President Lovell recognized several faculty members, whose stellar scholarship has been supported with significant grants from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and recognized with Fulbright Scholar awards.

“Our faculty are doing groundbreaking work to help others’ lives,” President Lovell said. “We all should be very, very proud of the strides that we’ve made in this strategic theme.”

Renovation to the Chapel of the Holy Family

President Lovell also announced a new project: a major renovation to the Chapel of the Holy Family, the Marquette community’s primary worship space. The chapel will be completely reimagined with new glass openings to Wisconsin Avenue on the chapel’s west side, a skylight and a terraced patio that faces the café at O’Brien Hall. A new cross will adorn the chapel’s rooftop.

Additional progress highlighted in the Presidential Address:

  • Looking forward, President Lovell pointed to the campus master plan, highlighting the recently opened Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall and a number of forthcoming building projects outlined in the campus master plan, including the reimagined Wellness + Recreation facility, a new home for the College of Nursing at David A. Straz Jr. Hall, the Lemonis Center for Student Success, and the Iron District, the planned, privately developed sports and entertainment district abutting campus’ eastern border. Additionally, a committee was formed last year to begin programmatic planning for a BioDiscovery District in the heart of campus.
  • President Lovell lauded the work of the University Advancement team, as the university continues to make significant progress on the Time to Rise fundraising campaign. Marquette remains ahead of its $750 million campaign goal and has raised more than $647 million, which represents 86.3% of the target. Noteworthy campaign milestones include:
    • Nearly 61,000 unique donors, of which 29,250 are first-time donors (48% of the total)
    • $265 million of funds raised have been for scholarships and $152 million have been for capital projects
    • $127 million raised for faculty excellence, which includes funding for 10 endowed chairs and 40 faculty-focused funds to support research, graduate assistants, and new academic program development
  • Addressing the issue of safety and security on campus, President Lovell praised the work of the President’s Task Force on Community Safety, led by Marquette University Police Chief Edith Hudson. In June, the Task Force completed their work and made 12 recommendations to increase safety in the Marquette community. Thanks to the Safety Implementation Team, eight items have been implemented and four are on a timeline for implementation. President Lovell highlighted the newly launched EagleExpress, an app-based, on-campus ride share service. “Even though we must continue to improve safety, the work of the task force has led to a 46% decrease in robberies and 26% decrease in motor vehicle thefts on campus,” President Lovell said.
  • President Lovell was joined on stage by Milwaukee Bucks’ President Peter Feigin, who discussed his vision for the Sport at the Service of Humanity Conference, which Marquette will host on campus in November 2023. The conference, developed in collaboration with the Vatican Dicastery for Culture and Education (formerly the Pontifical Council for Culture), is designed to advance the meaningful work of the Sport at the Service of Humanity initiative that focuses on three pillars: Inspiration, Inclusion and Involvement.
  • Marquette and the Milwaukee Bucks are partnering on a new program, the Bucks Fellowship, President Lovell announced. Through the fellowship, selected Marquette Urban Scholars can work with the 2021 NBA Champion organization during the basketball season. At the address, the Bucks announced their first “draft choice” for the new fellowship, Marquette student Christian Golden.

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