Marquette’s top 10 news media moments of 2023

With 2023 coming to an end, the Office of University Relations shares Marquette’s top 10 news media moments of the year:

10. Rapid Radicals Technology ribbon cutting

Representatives from Marquette and Rapid Radicals Technology, a startup founded to commercialize technology originally developed at Marquette, celebrated the launch of its pilot wastewater treatment system with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in August.

The ceremony drew reporters from several outlets, including FOX 6, Spectrum News 1, Biz Times Milwaukee and WUWM Radio.

9. Move-in Day

Marquette welcomed the Class of 2027 into its residence halls ahead of the fall semester in August. Every year, Move-In Day is one of the most widely attended media days on campus and 2023 was no different. Coverage of the day aired on TMJ4, FOX 6 and WISN 12, as well as CBS 58 and Spectrum News 1.

8. Marquette, Milwaukee Bucks partner on fellowship program

Marquette student Christian Golden is introduced as the first selection for the university’s new Bucks Fellowship.

At his annual presidential address, President Michael R. Lovell announced the formation of the Marquette and Bucks Fellowship Program, an internship program to provide students from diverse backgrounds with unique learning experiences and exposure to careers in sports and entertainment with the Bucks during each NBA season. Christian Golden was the inaugural recipient and was featured in an advance Milwaukee Journal Sentinel feature. Forbes also covered the announcement.

7. The opening of Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall

The opening of Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall was the highlight of the year for many, as the first ever completely donor-funded building project in Marquette’s history provided a new state-of-the-art home for Marquette Business. Media came out for the opening in January, with stories from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (story, video and photo gallery), as well as FOX 6, the Milwaukee Business Journal, WISN 12 and 620 WTMJ.

6. Excitement builds for Wellness + Helfaer Recreation facility

Marquette will open three new facilities on campus in the next 18 months, including the eagerly anticipated Wellness + Helfaer Recreation facility. With an expected opening date of January 2025, the facility will consolidate wellness, counseling, health services and recreation, while expanding capacity for each of these areas. Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and facilities management, spoke to Inside Higher Ed about Marquette’s culture of wellness.

5. Marquette University Police Department expands resources for campus, community safety

MUPD continues to seek new ways to serve and protect the Marquette campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. In 2023, two new initiatives were implemented through a new body-worn camera policy and the installation of Nalox-ZONE (Narcan) boxes on campus. FOX 6 came to campus and spoke with MUPD leaders and officers on the impact of the new body-worn camera policy, while CBS 58 followed along as MUPD’s partners, Wisconsin Voices for Recovery, came to campus for the final installation of Nalox-ZONE boxes.

4. Academy Award winner attends 2023 Commencement ceremony in dual role as speaker, mom

Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin served as Marquette’s undergraduate Commencement speaker in May. Having an Academy Award winner speak at Commencement was thrilling for graduates and guests. However, the event was equally special for Matlin, who received her honorary degree from, and witnessed her son Brandon Grandalski’s graduation. TMJ4 shared the story in its coverage of the Commencement season.

FOX 6 also shared the story of Marquette legacy Joe Tierney V, the fifth Joe Tierney in his family to graduate from Marquette.

3. Blue & Gold Brewing bring beer, coffee products to market

Blue & Gold Brewing LLC, a student-run business venture launched as part of an undergraduate applied learning program in the College of Business Administration, launched in 2022, but made a splash in 2023. First, it announced its first offerings of a private label, Marquette-affiliated craft beer to be released on National Marquette Today, Feb. 4. CBS 58 featured the students behind the beer in depth on its Sunday morning show.

Then, in June, CBS 58 helped break the news of Blue & Gold Brewing partnering with Stone Creek Coffee — a local “farm to cup” coffee roastery for over 30 years — to develop a Marquette-affiliated coffee product that was announced in the fall.

The program is back for its next cycle of products with some special mentors in place in Marquette alumnus Dick Leinenkugel (FOX 6) on the beer side and Dr. Gabriel Velez (Marquette Today), assistant professor of educational policy and leadership, assisting the coffee students.

2. Marquette Sustainability pilots MarKept, Iggy’s Market pilot programs

Each year, move-out activities generate a significant amount of waste that ends up in landfills. This year, Marquette Sustainability breathed life into a concept hatched in the 707 Hub’s Brewed Ideas Challenge, receiving an Explorer Challenge Grant to launch MarKept Move-Out, which gives new life to gently used goods by creating a system that makes it easier for students to donate these items. WISN 12 was on the story in May, when Marquette Sustainability was collecting donations and diverting discarded goods away from dumpsters.

The program came full circle with Iggy’s Market. Those items discarded in May were available for purchase by students when they arrived on campus in August. WISN 12 returned again to complete the story.

1. President Lovell, men’s basketball take center stage at the start of March Madness

The Marquette men’s basketball team had a historic 2022-23 season in which it became the first team in program history to win both the Big East regular season and tournament championships. Head Coach Shaka Smart and President Lovell were featured for their relationship. After his team won the tournament championship and cut down the nets at Madison Square Garden, Smart said this of the relationship:

“I’ve worked for six college presidents, and he stands apart in a lot of ways. His compassion, his character level, his integrity.

“A lot of those guys are cyborgs, man, they’re not real people. He’s a real person. He has a genuine care and concern for every single student at the university, but he’s got a special place in his heart for student-athletes because he’s an athlete himself.”

Shaka Smart on President Michael Lovell

The relationship became feature material for media leading up to the NCAA Tournament, including on the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Editor’s note: The Office of University Relations based this list on the number of media placements each story garnered, as well as the national and regional prominence of those stories.