Marquette alumni make their mark

If you like riding your Trek bike while using GPS navigation all while noshing on Bagel Bites, you can thank Marquette alumni for that. Over the university’s 143-year history, there have been many more astounding achievements. Below you’ll find some of the most impressive successes: 

Journalism and publishing 

  • Pulitzer Prizes
    • John Machacek, Jour ’62: In 1972, a Pulitzer Prize was awarded to John Machacek and Richard Cooper for their coverage in the Rochester Times-Union of the Attica, New York, prison riot. 
    • Margo Huston, Jour ’65: A Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Huston in 1977 for her reports in the Milwaukee Journal on the elderly and the process of aging. 
    • Jacqui Banaszynski, Jour ’74: In 1988, Banaszynski was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her feature series about AIDS victims in a rural farm community, published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch. 
    • George Lardner Jr., Jour ’56, Grad ’62: In 1993, George Lardner Jr. was awarded a Pulitzer for his story in the Washington Post that examined his daughter’s murder and the criminal justice system. 
    • Jeff Gerritt, Grad ’80: A Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Jeff Gerrit in 2020 for multiple editorials published throughout 2019 in the Palestine (Texas) Herald-Press illustrating pre-trial inmates’ deaths in a small Texas county jail. 
  • Four biographies on U.S. Supreme Court justices — Joan Biskupic, Jour ’78, Hon Deg ’10: A current legal assistant for CNN and an author, Biskupic has written four biographies on Supreme Court justices John Roberts, Sonia Sotomayor, Anton Scalia and Sandra Day O’Connor. 
Glenn “Doc” Rivers, now head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, led the Boston Celtics to a NBA championship in 2008. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)


  • NBA champions
    • Dean Meminger, Arts ’71: Dean “The Dream” Meminger was first drafted to the New York Knicks in 1971 and played as their point guard. In 1973, he helped lead the Knicks to an NBA Championship.  
    • Maurice Lucas, Sp ’80: Lucas played as a power forward on the Portland Trailblazers, helping lead the team to a title in 1980. 
    • Jim Chones, Arts ’73: A native of Racine, Wisconsin, Chones played for Marquette in the ’70s. Later he went pro and won an NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. 
    • Butch Lee, Bus Ad ’78: The first Puerto Rican basketball player in the NBA, Lee also became the first Puerto Rican player to win an NBA Championship when the Los Angeles Lakers won in 1980.  
    • Glenn “Doc” Rivers, Arts ’85: Rivers has played professional basketball and coached NBA teams for over 24 years. In 2008, he led the Boston Celtics to win the NBA Championship as head coach. In 2024, he returned to Milwaukee to coach the Bucks. 
    • Dwyane Wade, Hon Deg ’22: One of Marquette’s most famous alumni, Wade won three NBA Championships with the Miami Heat in 2006, 2012 and 2013. 
    • Juan Toscano-Anderson, Arts ’15: Toscano-Anderson was one of the winning players on the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Championship. 
  • 1936 Olympic gold medal for 4x100m relay, Hon. Ralph Metcalfe, Arts ’36: Metcalfe was America’s lead sprinter from 1932-34 and won a gold medal as a part of the 1936 4×100 relay team. 
  • Trek Bikes — Dick Burke, Bus Ad ’56, Hon Deg ’06: The American made bikes were founded right here in Wisconsin. Trek was co-founded by Dick Burke who aspired to make a middle price, high-quality bike. 
Chuck Swoboda, Eng ’89, served as CEO of Cree, Inc. for 25 years, leading the LED light revolution.


  • Claritin and Nasonex — Dr. Henry K.H. Kwan, Arts ’71: Four well-known allergy and cold medications were all developed by a Marquette alumnus. Claritin, Claritin D-24, Nasonex and Afrin were all developed by Dr. Henry K.H. Kwan.  
  • First mass-market LED lightbulbs – Chuck Swoboda, Eng ’89: Familiar with the LED Lightbulb? Swoboda served as CEO of Cree, Inc. for 25 years, leading the LED light revolution and growing the company to a $1.6 billion value. 
  • GPS navigation — Bill Feess, Eng ’51: Next time you turn the GPS on your phone to find your destination, thank Bill Feess. A graduate in electrical engineering, Feess is credited as an early pioneer of global positioning system technologies. 
  • First single chip microprocessor — Patrick Haggerty, Eng ’36, Hon Deg ’60: Haggerty was the co-founder and later president of Texas Instruments. Under his leadership, many significant devices were created, such as the single-chip microprocessor and the hand-held electronic calculator.
Dorothy “Dottie” Kamensheck, PT ’58, served as inspiration for the main character of the 1992 classic film “A League of Their Own.”

Arts and entertainment

  • Oscar-winning production design of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel — Adam Stockhausen, Comm ’95: Wes Anderson films are known for their aesthetic. Behind many of his films is the help of Adam Stockhausen, who won an Academy Award for his production design on The Grand Budapest Hotel. 
  • Grammy-winning album “It’s Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers”Cheryl Pawelski, CJPA ’89: Pawelski is a four-time Grammy Award-winning producer and co-founder of the Omnivore Entertainment group. 
  • Saturday Night Live’s Matt Foley — Chris Farley, Sp ’86: Farley starred as a cast member on Saturday Night Live for five years; his most famous character was Matt Foley. Later he would appear in many movies, notably Tommy Boy. 
  • The Jim Gaffigan ShowJeannie Noth Gaffigan, CJPA ’92, Hon Deg ’18: The critically acclaimed show was written and coproduced by Jeannie Noth Gaffigan and inspired by the Gaffigan family’s own life. 
  • First female DJ for the Dallas Mavericks and the NBA All-Star game — Ivy Awino, Comm ’13: Known professionally as Poizon Ivy, Awino became the first female to DJ the NBA All-Star game in 2018. 
  • Emmy-winning Sesame Street Muppets’ costumes — Erin Slattery Black, Comm ’95: Puppets need costume designers too, and Erin Slattery Black does just that. Black has won three daytime Emmy awards for her costume design on Sesame Street. 
  • First Bachelorette of color — Rachel Lindsay, Law ’11:  Rachel Lindsay was the lead of season 13 of the Bachelorette and the first African American lead. 
  • Dottie Hinson of “A League of Their Ownfame Dorothy “Dottie” Kamensheck, PT ’58: The character Dottie Hinson, played by Geena Davis, was loosely based on Dottie Kamensheck.  
  • Pixar’s LavaJames Ford Murphy, Jour ’86: Murphy started at Pixar in 1996, working as an animator on some of its most well-known films, such as Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. In 2014, Murphy wrote and made his directing debut with Pixar’s Lava. 
  • The Incomparable Hildegarde — Hildegarde Sell, Music ’26: Hildegarde rose to fame as a cabaret singer who would tour across the world. Eleanor Roosevelt dubbed her the “First Lady of Supper Clubs,” and a Revlon shade of lipstick was named after her. 
Dick Leinenkugel, Bus Ad ’80, past president of Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, served as a mentor for this year’s Blue & Gold Brewing LLC beer team.

Food and beverages 

  • Leinenkugel’s beer — Dick Leinenkugel, Bus Ad ’80: Leinenkugel’s is the seventh oldest brewery in America and is based out of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Dick Leinenkugel became president of the company in 2014 and retired at the end of 2022. 
  • Sartori cheese — Jim Sartori, Bus Ad ’77, CEO of Sartori Co.: Sartori Cheese is based in Plymouth, Wisconsin, and in 1986 at age 30, Jim Sartori became the third generation of Sartoris to serve as CEO. The company has won more than 400 international and national quality awards. 
  • Zico coconut water — Mark Rampolla, Bus Ad ’91: Is Zico one of your favorite coconut water brands? It was created in 2004 by the Marquette alumnus Mark Rampolla and was one of the three original coconut water brands. 
  • Bagel Bites — Bob Mosher, Arts ’75: The tiny, delicious pizza bites were first invented by Bob Mosher and Stanley Garcynski in 1985 with inspiration from a recipe from the back of a package of Lender’s bagels. The rest is history. 
Maj. Gen. Lorna Mahlock, CJPA ’91, became the first Black female to serve as a brigadier general in 2018.

National ranks 

  • Highest ranking Black female Marine — Maj. Gen. Lorna Mahlock, CJPA ’91: Maj. Gen. Lorna Mahlock became the first Black female to serve as a brigadier general in the Marine Corps in 2018, as well as the corps’ first female CIO. 
  • White House nurse for two former presidents — Kristin Stoniecki, Nurs ’07: Stoniecki graduated from the Navy ROTC, which eventually lead her to nursing at the White House. She was responsible for emergency health logistics for Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. 


  • Global Brigades — Dr. Shital (Chauhan) Vora, H Sci ’04, PT ’06: Inspired by a trip to bring medical care to a rural community in Honduras, Dr. Duffy Casey and Dr. Shital (Chuahan) Vora decided to continue the mission, which eventually led to the Global Brigades. In 2019, there were over 340 Global Brigade chapters continuing the mission to resolve health and economic disparities. 
  • Council for Opportunity in Education — Dr. Arnold Mitchem, Grad ’81, Hon Deg ’04: Dr. Arnold Mitchem served as the president of the Council for Opportunity in Education from 1986 until 2013. The nonprofit is based in Washington, D.C., and supports low-income, first-generation students through college access. Mitchem also served on the Marquette Board of Trustees.