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Marquette University Elects First Lay President Michael R. Lovell

April 14, 2014 — Marquette University has elected Michael R. Lovell, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as its 24th president and the university’s first lay president. Lovell will succeed Interim President Jesuit Father Robert A. Wild and will take office on Aug. 1, 2014.

“As a devout Catholic, my faith has always served as the cornerstone of my life,” said Lovell. “Having the ability to openly share my faith in my professional career is something that I have always wanted to do. I am truly humbled and excited to become part of the Marquette family at this historic moment. Working with the Jesuit community, faculty, staff, students and alumni, I believe that through its mission to serve others, Marquette can not only make a transformational impact on Milwaukee, but across the globe.”

In announcing Lovell’s unanimous election, Board Chair Charles Swoboda said, “This is a historic moment in Marquette’s 133-year tradition as we appoint the first lay president of this great university. ... [Dr. Lovell] clearly values the transformative experience of a Marquette education and, as our president, he will have the ability to lead and live out his Catholic faith as a servant leader.”

Lovell holds three academic degrees in mechanical engineering, including a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and has published more than 100 articles in leading engineering journals, written a dozen book chapters, developed coursework and recently co-authored a book. In addition to holding seven patents and 14 provisional patents, Lovell has received multiple engineering awards and was named a State of Wisconsin Distinguished Professor.

Jesuit Father Thomas Lawler, provincial of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus and member of the Marquette Board of Trustees, said, “We have found in Dr. Lovell a committed Catholic who will embody the rich mission of the Jesuits and lead one of our premier universities. On behalf of the Society of Jesus and the Marquette Jesuit Community, we welcome Dr. Lovell and his family to Marquette and look forward to working in full partnership with Dr. Lovell and his leadership team.”

Prior to joining UWM, Lovell served as associate dean for research at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Engineering for five years. He previously directed two multi-university research centers and was a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Kentucky.

Along with his wife Amy and their four children, Lovell is an active member of Holy Family Parish in Whitefish Bay, Wis., and is also involved with the Newman Center on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. Lovell enjoys attending men’s and women’s athletic events and is an avid runner and triathlete.

An inauguration ceremony will be planned for the fall. [Source: Marquette University]


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