Marquette goes public with $750 million fundraising campaign


Marquette University on Thursday went public with a fundraising campaign aiming to raise $750 million to support the university’s “Beyond Boundaries” strategic plan.

The campaign, called Time to Rise, has been underway privately since 2016 and has already raised $453 million.

The university said 50,000 donors have already contributed, including 42% who made their first gift. The campaign has received commitments of more than $100,000 from more than 500 donors, including more than 90 contributing $1 million or more.

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“We are incredibly inspired by the growing support from our Marquette community and the way they have risen to every occasion to invest in Marquette today and help to secure our future,” said Michael Lovell, president of Marquette “We have persevered through challenging times, and we have a firm foundation to build upon, thanks in large part to the generous contributions of our community.”

Time to Rise prioritizes four areas, including enriching and expanding student opportunities, supporting teacher-scholars, fostering university-wide innovation and transforming the campus environment.

Marquette has already announced some of the major gifts from the campaign, including a $31 million gift to support nursing scholarships and gifts to build a $60 million business school. However, the university has also faced challenges as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, including eliminating 39 positions to address budget shortfalls, which prompted a group of tenure and tenure-track faculty to pen an open letter expressing their concerns about the plan.

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The campaign is being led by national campaign co-chairs Chuck and Karen Swoboda and Mary Ellen and Dr. Scott Stanek. Mary Ellen Stanek chaired the Marquette board from 2006 to 2009 and Chuck Swoboda chaired the board from 2012 to 2014. All four graduated from Marquette.

“Marquette is where it all came together for us,” said Mary Ellen Stanek, managing director and chief investment officer of Baird Advisors and president of Baird Funds. “While this is a time of uncertainty, we see great opportunity to help the next generation forge their best path forward.”

“The Marquette experience creates an incredible sense of community and connection,” said Chuck Swoboda, president and CEO of Vast Therapeutics and retired chairman and CEO of Cree. “Throughout our history, we have a distinctive heritage when it comes to developing mission-driven, ethical leaders who work to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”

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