Former MPS teacher donates $2 million to Marquette

Longtime Milwaukee Public Schools teacher Bernadette Steep has bequeathed $2 million to Marquette University for endowed scholarship aid.

Steep, a Marquette alumna who died on May 4, gave the gift in her estate. It will be divided between the College of Education and the Law School. This is the largest donation in the history of the College of Education.

“This is a remarkable example of an alumna who dedicated her life to teaching and has now ensured her legacy will continue to live on in classrooms for generations to come,” said the Rev. Robert Wild, interim president. “Scholarship aid is essential to our pursuit of academic excellence, and we are extremely grateful to Bernadette for her generosity.”

A teacher at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Maple Tree Elementary School from 1958 to 1987, Steep included in the gift part of the estate of her sister, Mary Ann, who also graduated from Marquette and died in 2007.

“The enormously generous gift from Bernadette is all the more meaningful to the College of Education, because of the many years she spent in skilled and passionate service to Milwaukee Public Schools and the abundant love she had for Marquette,” said William Henk, dean of the College of Education. “She kept both her students and our university near and dear to her heart throughout her lifetime, and her legacy will live on as her philanthropy impacts the future generations of teachers we will thoughtfully prepare.”

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