February 26, 2014 — Marquette University in Milwaukee has received a $10 million gift from an anonymous benefactor to build a new on-campus residence for its Jesuit community and to support need-based scholarships for students.
Jesuit Father Robert A. Wild, interim president of Marquette, said that $7.5 million of the gift will be dedicated to building a new Jesuit Residence and renovating the center of campus. The project, which will total $15 million, will be funded entirely from donations. Construction and work will begin after an additional $7.5 million is raised.
The anonymous donor indicated a strong desire to provide a future home for the Jesuits of Marquette’s community. Marquette’s current Jesuit Residence houses 44 Jesuits and was built in 1916 as the Stratford Arms Hotel.
According to Jesuit Father Jeffrey LaBelle, rector of the university’s Jesuit community, the new facility will emphasize the Jesuit commitment to higher education, will be environmentally friendly and will remain at the center of campus. It will also reflect a contemplative way of life and communal approach to daily living with a chapel at its center, along with additional worship and meeting spaces.
“Pope Francis has led by example in remarkable ways when it comes to connecting with the people, and our new, more visible and more accessible residence at the center of campus will help us to follow this same leadership style,” Fr. LaBelle said.
The remaining $2.5 million of the gift will be dedicated to supporting need-based scholarships, a key priority identified in the university’s strategic plan. Fr. Wild has long stressed the importance of access to higher education, significantly increasing funding for student scholarship aid and creating scholarship programs targeted at underserved populations.
“This significant gift is a tremendous investment in the future of our members of the Society of Jesus who make such profound academic and spiritual contributions to life at Marquette,” said Fr. Wild. “And equally as important, this generous contribution to support scholarships will help us to continue to provide a world-class, transformative education that is both accessible and affordable.” [Source:Marquette University]