$1.5 million gifted to Marquette University mentorship program

Bill Krueger (middle), standing in front of St. Joan of Arc Chapel on Marquette University's campus. Credit: Marquette University

Marquette University alumnus and Alumni Association president Bill Krueger has gifted $1.5 million to the university’s mentorship program.

Krueger graduated from Marquette’s College of Engineering in 1987. His professional track record includes several notable automotive companies such as Harley-Davidson’s former Utilimaster Corp., Toyota and Nissan, where he served as vice chairman of Nissan Americas.

His gift, along with additional contributions from several alumni mentors, will – in perpetuity – support the program’s growth, access and professional development opportunities for mentee students, according to a news release.

Marquette Mentors matches current students with alumni who have similar majors or career interests. Mentors provide one-on-one guidance as well as professional and career insights throughout the academic year.

“Marquette Mentors enhances our students’ success by connecting them to the legacy of our accomplished graduates,” said Marquette president Michael Lovell. “It embodies the spirit of passing on our Marquette values from alumni to students and offers students invaluable real-world lessons and networking from our great alumni.”

Krueger’s gift endows the Robert H. Radtke Marquette Mentors Directorship in honor of Krueger’s “personal Marquette gamechanger.” Radtke, who died in 2021, made a profound difference in Krueger’s life, bridging their 20-plus-year generational difference and demonstrating how deeply alumni can impact fellow Marquette colleagues long after graduation, according to the news release.

“I learned and benefited so much from Bob’s expertise and generosity,” Krueger said. “He mentored through his example and personal values, wanting simply to pay forward the life-changing difference his education made possible. It seems only fitting that his name and work live on through this directorship and a program that impacts so many Marquette students.”

Marquette Mentors launched in 2013 as a pilot with 30 mentor-mentee matches, in response to growing student interest about engaging with alumni for career discernment, professional development and networking. Today, the program spans 25 states and Europe and has served a total of 900 student mentees and more than 200 alumni mentors. This academic year includes 145 mentor-mentee matches. Students from all undergraduate colleges, the graduate school and more than 25 campus partners have participated.

“This extraordinary gift embodies Bill’s commitment to help ensure that current and future Marquette students will have a chance to learn, grow and develop professional and career discernment through Marquette Mentors,” said Dan DeWeerdt, senior director for Marquette Mentors and alumni engagement.

The gift contributes to the university’s multi-year, $750 million “Time to Rise” fundraising campaign. The university has raised more than $575 million to date, amounting to 77% of its goal. More than 55,000 donors have already supported the campaign, including 45% of donors making their first-ever gift to the university.

Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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