Marquette University has exceeded its $3 million giving challenge fundraising goal.
The challenge was set up by alumnus Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC television show “The Profit,” who agreed to donate $1.5 million if it was matched by an equal amount of donations from the Marquette community. It was launched Feb. 17.
Donors rose to the challenge, with 2,769 of them contributing $1,792,748 in less than two months.
The $3 million will be used to start a student-run business program, the Marcus Lemonis student-run Pay The Profit Forward Program, in the College of Business Administration. Students can use the money to research and potentially start businesses.
“Marcus has inspired our alumni from across the United States and the world, and we are incredibly grateful for his generosity,” said President Michael R. Lovell. “We couldn’t be more proud to launch this new student-run business program to honor his legacy.”
Lemonis, who stars on both “The Profit” and “The Partner,” is the chairman and chief executive officer of Bowling Green, Kentucky-based Camping World, the largest RV and outdoor retailer in the U.S. and Good Sam, the world’s largest RV owners’ organization. A 1995 Marquette graduate, he previously donated $300,000 to the university in a giving challenge to raise a total of $1 million.
“It is amazing to think that Marquette will now shape the dreams of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and business leaders through a program bearing my name,” Lemonis said. “It is extra rewarding for all of this to happen on the same campus where I sparked my passion.”
“We’re delighted that Marcus Lemonis chose to invest in the College of Business Administration in this way,” said Brian Till, Keyes Dean of Business Administration. “This student-run business program aligns perfectly with the college’s emphasis on experiential learning, and I’m excited to see the ventures our students will propose, develop and manage. It will most certainly be a popular and important learning experience for students for years to come, and a distinguishing feature of a Marquette business education.”