Milwaukee businessman and philanthropist Michael Cudahy has donated $1 million to Marquette University to fund five full scholarships for students attending the Opus College of Engineering.
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The Marquette University campus.
Jon Elliott of MKE Drones LLC[/caption]
Four of the students started at Marquette this academic year and all are the first in their families to attend college. The scholarships will cover the cost of attending Marquette for the students, including room-and-board.
“I have a deep fondness for the school,” Cudahy said. “I have always felt that guys like me should, somehow, pay back society for success. Perhaps, we can help make it happen again with a young potential entrepreneur.”
Cudahy founded Marquette Electronics in the 1960s and grew it to a $650 million company before selling it to GE Healthcare in 1998. He’s been involved philanthropically with a number of initiatives in the city, including at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World and the Pabst and Riverside theaters. He was the 2013 recipient
of BizTimes Bravo! Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award.
Michael Lovell, Marquette president, said Cudahy is a “great friend of Marquette University” and the gift would further honor his legacy in Milwaukee. Cudahy was the principal donor for Marquette’s Cudahy Hall. Built in 1994, the building is named for his mother, Katherine Reed Cudahy, and serves as Marquette’s main computing facility.
“I know he shares Marquette’s deep appreciation for keeping higher education accessible,” Lovell said. “The lives of scholarship recipients and their families will be forever changed for the good thanks to Mike’s continuing generosity.”
Cudahy, who specifically sought to assist students who have strong financial needs, will meet with each scholarship recipient. Kristina Ropella, Marquette Opus dean in the College of Engineering, first met Cudahy when she was an undergraduate at Marquette and interned at Cudahy’s company, Marquette Electronics.
She said Cudahy taught her “the true meaning of being a servant leader” and his gift would have a significant impact on students.
“Gifts like this are such an important part of how we’re changing the face of engineering, starting at the most basic level of the students who come through our doors” Ropella said.