MILWAUKEE — Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell announced today that alumni couple Louis and Suzanne Bouquet Andrew have committed $5 million to establish the Andrew Center for Restorative Justice at Marquette Law School.
“We are extremely appreciative to the Andrews for this generous gift, which will play a pivotal role in restorative justice efforts for victims and communities affected by crime and injustice,” President Lovell said. “This gift will help advance Marquette University’s Catholic, Jesuit mission to serve others in addressing the most pressing issues in our society. Pairing the Andrews’ generosity with the invaluable leadership of the Hon. Janine Geske ensures this center will create lasting change both on campus and within our broader community.”
This commitment advances and expands upon the work of Janine P. Geske, retired distinguished professor of law, former justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and Marquette trustee. The Andrew Center for Restorative Justice will serve as a central hub for educating and training students how to use restorative justice approaches at the local, national, and international levels. The center will also support faculty research and enhance the teaching of restorative justice in the broader community. Geske will serve as the inaugural director of the Andrew Center, facilitating the Law School’s launch of the center and its search for a permanent director.
“In recent decades, society has become more and more aware of the multiple effects caused by crime, affecting victims in ways going beyond those immediately evident, and extending negative impacts to entire communities,” said Joseph D. Kearney, dean of the Marquette University Law School. “I am immensely grateful to Louis and Sue Andrew for wanting to ensure that Professor Geske’s work will be advanced at Marquette Law School for decades to come. The creation of the Andrew Center for Restorative Justice is a major moment in the Law School’s history because of the way it draws upon our traditions and our mission — but mostly because of what it foretells about our future.”
Restorative justice encompasses a variety of approaches whereby judges, lawyers, and others can seek to heal the wounds of negative community impacts. It characteristically uses professional guided civil dialogue, and its means for addressing conflict, promoting healing, and facilitating problem solving can proceed in conjunction with, or apart from, the more formal processes associated with the traditional legal system.
Over the past two decades, Marquette built a substantial program in restorative justice, focused on challenging issues such as human trafficking, bullying, and racial inequities. Since she left the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1998, Geske has been working with students to teach them about restorative justice. Students have worked hand-in-hand with legal professionals, community leaders, and those directly affected. Further, they have learned from specific restorative justice course work; annual conferences; a restorative justice clinic where they work with victims, offenders and community members; and pro bono conflict management training for community leaders.
“We’ve been involved with restorative justice efforts at Marquette Law School for nearly 20 years, and we are deeply humbled to make this gift in honor of our dear friend Janine Geske,” Louis and Suzanne Andrew said. “Our hope is that the center will train law students and the legal community to better help victims and communities reclaim their sense of safety and well-being.” The Andrews said they hoped to inspire additional donors to grow the center’s endowment and amplify its important work.
Louis J. Andrew is a 1966 graduate of Marquette Law School and practiced real estate law in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, for 50 years. He became actively engaged in fundraising for the Law School 25 years ago in support of the dean, the late Howard B. Eisenberg. Louis worked to establish the Law School’s first Advisory Board, chaired the board for 15 years, and served as a member of the Law School Building Steering Committee to guide the development of Ray and Kay Eckstein Hall, which opened in 2010. Sue Andrew is a 1966 School of Speech graduate. She has been directly engaged with Geske for the past decade in envisioning a continuation of the latter’s restorative justice work at the Law School.
Geske calls restorative justice “a powerful, peaceful means for addressing conflict, promoting healing and facilitating problem solving that differs from current mediation practices.”
“It has been my dream to have a permanent restorative justice program at Marquette Law School. As a judge and attorney, I experienced both the successes of our criminal justice system as well as its failures in bringing restoration to victims and communities harmed by crime,” Geske said. “I left the bench because I wanted to help better address the needs of those who have been harmed and are marginalized in society.”
Geske points to Marquette and the Law School as a wonderful home for many different restorative justice projects over the last 20 years. “It is so exciting that because of the Andrews’ generous gift, we will be able to permanently support the teaching, practicing and promoting of restorative processes to some of our society’s greatest problems,” she said. “The university’s focus on excellence, faith, leadership, and service to shape a better world for the greater glory of God and humankind is reflected in the mission of restorative justice. I’m immensely grateful to Sue and Louis Andrew for believing in me and in the transformational power of this approach.”
The university’s Time to Rise campaign has surpassed $520 million in funds raised toward its $750 million goal. The campaign has already secured more than 52,000 donors with more than 22,000 of these donors (43%) making their first-ever gift to Marquette. Building on its founding mission to provide an accessible education, Marquette has allotted $224 million in scholarship funds. In addition, nearly 600 donors have given $100,000 commitments, and 105 donors have given $1 million or greater.