Marquette president Michael Lovell announces cancer diagnosis

Marquette University President Michael Lovell

Last updated on September 3rd, 2021 at 11:55 am

Marquette University president Michael Lovell has been diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, he revealed in a letter to the university community Thursday.

He said he received his diagnosis Tuesday afternoon and will begin chemotherapy next week.

“As I embark on this journey, there are several things that give me hope and a positive outlook,” Lovell said in his letter. “First, I am a person of deep faith, and I know that God’s glory can manifest through suffering and difficult times. Second, other than the cancer, I am presently healthy, strong and ready to fearlessly take on this fight. Finally, I believe in the power of prayer and know that anything is possible with God.”

Marquette began classes for the fall semester on Monday. Lovell participated in the welcome-back activities, including handing out free breakfast to students.

“Since we started the school year, there has been so much positive energy and excitement on campus,” Lovell said in his letter. “Being back together in community, it was my plan to go to as many campus events as physically possible and find ways to interact with each of you. To my surprise, these were not God’s plans for me right now.”

Lovell, who has led Marquette since 2014, said he plans to “find ways to interact” with the campus community “in the months and years ahead,” and asked that they keep him and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

“On behalf of the entire Marquette community, we send our prayers to Mike and Amy Lovell and their family. The Board of Trustees looks forward to continuing to support Mike and the Marquette leadership team on our journey to develop men and women for others,” Bob Eck, chair of the Marquette board of trustees, said in a statement Thursday.

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Lauren Anderson is an associate editor and covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism.

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