Ray and Kay Eckstein, two longtime Marquette University alumni donors, have pledged to give $10 million toward construction of the university’s new $96 million residence hall being built on the corner of West Wells Street and North 17th Street, Marquette president Michael Lovell announced during his annual campus address Wednesday.
The Eckstein’s contribution to the project is on the condition that the university raises an additional $10 million on its own for the project, and names the building after former Marquette President Rev. Robert Wild, S.J.
“Having known Father Wild for nearly two decades and observed his leadership in service to Marquette, Kay and I are delighted to do our part to encourage the support of others so that the university can name this new student residence in his honor,” Ray Eckstein said. “We are very happy that there will be a place at Marquette that bears his name in recognition of his many contributions revitalizing and building the campus during his presidency.”
The Ecksteins gave $51 million to Marquette in 2007 to build Marquette University’s new law school, named Eckstein Hall. They also gave money to support the construction of the new university Jesuit Residence in 2014.
Wild served as president of Marquette from 1996 to 2011, and then returned to the helm briefly from 2013 to 2014 as interim president. He is now the university’s chancellor. During his tenure as president, Marquette raised more than $800 million, including more than $200 million for scholarships, according to a statement issued by the university. He oversaw several campus construction projects, including the Raynor Library, the Al McGuire Center, the new Engineering Hall and Eckstein Hall.
Marquette broke ground on the new residence hall in November. The dormitory will be co-ed and house freshman and sophomore students beginning in 2018. The building will have two 375-bed buildings, connected through the lower levels by a dining area and community space.
Upon its completion, the university will raze the 50-year-old McCormick Hall on the corner of North 16th Street and West Wisconsin Avenue.
Milwaukee-based architecture firm Workshop Architects and Baltimore-based design firm Design Collective were selected by Marquette in July to develop a vision for the new residence hall. Construction firm J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc., which has offices in Madison and Milwaukee, is the construction management firm for the project.