Marquette alumni couple gives $2.5 million for men’s basketball, leadership development

Will support expansion of Engineers in the Lead program

The Alumni Memorial Union at Marquette University.
The Alumni Memorial Union at Marquette University.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:09 pm

Marquette University alumni Chuck and Karen Swoboda have donated $2.5 million to support the university’s men’s basketball program and a leadership development program in its engineering college.

Chuck, who graduated from Marquette in 1989, is president of Morrisville, North Carolina-based Cape Point Advisors. He was chair of Marquette’s board of trustees from 2012 to 2014. Karen graduated from Marquette in 1990.

The couple’s $1 million donation will allow Engineers in the Lead (E-Lead), a three-year leadership development program in Marquette’s Opus College of Engineering, to double in size.

In the fall, the program will consist of 20 engineering students and 20 students from disciplines across the university. The 40 students will begin as a cohort and a new set of 40 students will follow each additional year.

“While we often think of technology when discussing innovation, it is people who provide the critical spark that drives innovative thinking,” Chuck Swoboda said. “Marquette has a distinctive heritage when it comes to developing mission-driven, ethical leaders who work to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”

The Swobodas’ $1.5 million gift will support the continued growth of the men’s basketball program.

“Chuck and Karen have been tremendous friends of our men’s basketball program, helping us to thrive at an elite level,” said Bill Scholl, vice president and director of athletics. “When you have a program that is both steeped in tradition and poised for new growth, it is our passionate supporters who make all the difference.”

The couple will also serve as national co-chairs for Marquette’s comprehensive fundraising campaign.

“In addition to their impactful philanthropy, Chuck and Karen have given a significant amount of their time and energy as we build out our campaign priorities, formalize our volunteer infrastructure and generate critical campaign momentum,” said Tim McMahon, vice president for advancement at Marquette. “They are passionate and humble Marquette alumni leaders.”

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