Prayer for President Michael Lovell 

On this beautiful late spring morning, I gaze out the window of my Humphrey Hall apartment and see the ongoing construction that will be the Mike and Amy Lovell Center for Student Well-Being – the centerpiece of the renovated Wellness + Helfaer Recreation Center.  

As I reflect on the life of President Lovell, I’m reminded of the poem I have used for 25 years as part of my prayers with our alumni celebrating their 50th reunion at Marquette. It is called “The Bridge Builder,” by Will Allen Droomgoole. 

An old man, going a lone highway, 
Come at the evening, cold and gray,  
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,  
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.                                               

The old man crossed in the twilight dim — 
That sullen stream had no fears for him; 
But he turned, when he reached the other side, 
And built a bridge to span the tide. 

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near, 
“You are wasting your strength in building here. 
Your journey will end with the ending day; 
You never again must pass this way. 

You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide, 
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?” 
The builder lifted his old gray head, 
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said, 
“There followeth after me today 
A youth whose feet must pass this way. 

This chasm that has been naught to me 
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be. 
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim; 
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.” 

My intent with the alumni is to point out all that they have done to create a path for the Marquette students who have followed them. How fitting that generations of future Marquette students will benefit from all that Mike Lovell built during his tenure at Marquette.  

Mike the engineer. Rest in peace. You are with God. We will miss you. 

Rev. Fred Zagone, S.J. 
University Chaplain