MILWAUKEE — The Marquette University Board of Trustees has approved breaking ground for a new home for Marquette Business and innovation leadership programs at 16th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, the former site of McCormick Hall. The $60 million, 100,000 square-foot facility will be the largest fully donor-funded construction project in university history.
“This marks a defining, historical moment for Marquette,” President Michael R. Lovell said. “Our new facility will serve as a major catalyst to grow the pipeline of future Catholic, Jesuit-educated business leaders for years to come. We have witnessed truly remarkable generosity for this project by our passionate Marquette community.” Lovell added that this is an important step to fuel Marquette’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries.
Under the direction of Vice President for Advancement Tim McMahon, Marquette met the project’s funding goal in just over two years, a quick pace for a facility of this scope. The success was driven by more than 250 donors, including 60 alumni, parents and friends who have committed gifts of more than $100,000 and 14 benefactors of $1 million or more.
“This is a once-in-a-generation project made possible by the unparalleled support of our alumni, parents and friends,” McMahon said. “The generosity of our benefactors has resulted in a world class new home for Marquette Business – a home that will educate, challenge and foster our students to be Marquette, Jesuit-trained alumni leaders for tomorrow.”
In announcing the milestone, President Lovell honored a “beloved former colleague,” the late Keyes Dean of Business Administration Joe Daniels. The university surpassed its $60 million fundraising goal on February 11, 2021 — the one-year anniversary of Daniels’ tragic death. “We know that Joe had a hand in this timing as he continues to watch over us,” President Lovell said. “His vision inspired us, and we will carry on his legacy in our new facility well into the future.”
State-of-the-art design and technology
A formal groundbreaking ceremony will take place this spring and the facility will be completed at the end of 2022. Marquette’s newest academic facility is built for the future with maximum flexibility and state-of-the-art, globally connective technology, anchoring the west gateway to campus.
The four-story building design is being led by Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management Lora Strigens and her team, in partnership with architectural firms BNIM of Kansas City and Milwaukee-based Workshop Architects. Findorff is constructing the building, which will feature an open atrium, collaborative classrooms, lab and study spaces, as well as an event space for the Milwaukee business community, bringing together thought leaders from across the region.
In addition, plans call for a café, areas for programmatic centers of excellence, including an EMBA Center, and faculty offices. The facility’s first floor is designed to provide wraparound student support, including centralized advising with a Student Success Center and a Business Career Center.
“Marquette’s College of Business Administration was the first accredited Catholic business school in the United States, and it has been continuously accredited since 1928,” said Interim Keyes Dean of Business Administration Tim Hanley. “The college is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report, and it has outstanding programs in all business disciplines, including ranked programs in finance, real estate and supply chain, as well as our MBA programs. We are proud of our legacy of developing excellent business professionals who lead with an ethical compass.”
Infusing innovation across disciplines
The new facility will also house innovation leadership programs, and its proximity to Marquette’s Opus College of Engineering offers opportunities to pair faculty experts and students within the two academic disciplines. This year, Marquette climbed to a U.S. News & World Report ranking of number 18 in the nation for undergraduate teaching and was ranked 42 on the list of “Most Innovative Schools.”
“Our unique leadership development programs inspire students and faculty to think creatively, collaborate in innovative ways and ultimately, act boldly to deliver solutions,” said Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering Kristina Ropella. The new building will be home to Marquette’s Excellence in Leadership (E-Lead) and Bridge to Business programs.
“We’ve heard from students and industry professionals alike how valuable these shared perspectives can be across business, engineering and other disciplines,” Ropella said.