Graduate & Professional Studies

Marquette University mourns the loss of Rev. Thaddeus J. Burch, S.J. 

Marquette University mourns the loss of Rev. Thaddeus J. Burch, S.J., former dean of the Graduate School, who died Tuesday, May 14. He was 93 years old. 

Fr. Burch arrived on campus in 1976 and served in a variety of roles over the following decades, including professor and chair in the Department of Physics, acting vice provost of research, dean of the Graduate School and director of special projects. He served as dean of the Graduate School from 1983 to 2001. 

“Fr. Burch was someone who served Marquette University in many different ways and someone that I learned so much from over the more than 35 years that I knew him,” said Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice president for research and innovation and former dean of the Graduate School. “I always appreciated his keen sense of humor, his pastoral presence and care for graduate students and colleagues, his interest in diving deeply into data to understand how Marquette was doing in national rankings, and his support for research on our campus which included launching our annual Distinguished Scholars Reception to recognize our outstanding faculty.” 

Professionally, Fr. Burch co-authored 43 articles and 21 abstracts on the use of nuclear magnetic resonance to study ferromagnetic materials and properties.

Last year, Fr. Burch celebrated 75 years since his entrance into the Society of Jesus. 

The Burch Scholarship – which provides merit- and need-based scholarships for students in all graduate programs – commemorates his commitment to championing graduate education at Marquette. 

“Fr. Burch was a kind, gentle man who excelled as a priest, professor, scholar and former dean of the Graduate School,” said Dr. Scott D’Urso, acting vice provost for graduate and professional studies and dean of the Graduate School. “He was loved by students, staff and faculty alike. He made sure everyone felt welcomed and appreciated and always brought a smile to those with whom he interacted. He would still come into the office well into his 90s to work on projects, bring us treats, and brighten our days. His mind was sharp and his memory keen, and he had a very dry humor and a mischievous spirit that kept everyone in a good mood.”

A memorial Mass will be held Monday, June 3, at 11 a.m. at St. Camillus Jesuit Community (10201 W. Wisconsin Ave., Wauwatosa).

Please remember Fr. Burch, his family and friends in prayer.