Lemonis Center for Student Success names alumna as first director

Marilyn Jones, a two-time Marquette alumna, has been named the inaugural director of the Lemonis Center for Student Success.

Jones returns to Marquette where she earned an undergraduate degree in 2001 and her master’s degree in 2003. She has also worked at the university as a participating faculty member and in roles with both Upward Bound and the Educational Opportunity Program.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Jones back to Marquette as our inaugural director of the Lemonis Center for Student Success,” said Dr. John Su, vice provost for academic affairs and student success. “She returns with a strong background in higher education, both as a faculty member and in roles supporting student success. She is an amazing student advocate and we are excited for her to bring that enthusiasm and experience to further student success at Marquette.”

Jones most recently served as an assistant professor of Spanish languages and cultures at Cardinal Stritch University. Since 2014, she served as department chair, first for the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and then the Humanities Division. In these leadership roles, she was active in the administration of her units, as well as the integration of new faculty, supporting new program growth, and student facing roles surrounding mentorship, internships and volunteer opportunities.

She also served as faculty adviser to the Latinx Student Organization since 2014, the HPGM Student Chapter since 2015 and Dreamers Welcome since 2017.

During her professional career, Jones served Marquette as an EOP Sociology Seminar Leader for nine summers between 2005-13. She also taught “Career Exploration: Education and the Humanities” over three fall semesters from 2008-10.

Jones received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish language and literature and sociology, with a minor in political sciences. She then earned her Master of Arts degree in Spanish and literature, with a specialization in contemporary Latin American literature. As a graduate student, she taught Spanish courses as a teaching assistant. She then spent one semester as an adjunct faculty member teaching Spanish.

About the Lemonis Center for Student Success

President Michael R. Lovell in 2021 announced a new Student Success Initiative as one of the university’s top strategic priorities. To enhance and scale Marquette’s efforts to drive this priority forward in the most visible way possible, alumnus Marcus Lemonis, star of HGTV’s The Renovator, CNBC’s The Profit and chairman and CEO of Camping World, and his wife Bobbi, donated $15 million to create the Lemonis Center for Student Success. 

In recognition of this leadership gift, 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.

Architectural, student experience and space utilization planning for the Lemonis Center is underway; construction has begun and the renovation is targeted for completion in summer 2024.