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Dear Marquette faculty, staff and students,

Even though the thermometer might suggest otherwise, welcome to the spring semester. I hope your Christmas holiday brought well-deserved rest and relaxation with family and friends, and an opportunity to reflect on your experiences over the past year.

I want to alert you to several upcoming items of interest to our university.

The first of our four provost finalists will visit our campus starting tomorrow, Jan. 13. In the organizational structure of Marquette, the provost is the No. 2 executive position and our university’s top academic officer, and therefore is a position of extremely high importance to our future.

Each provost candidate will be the featured speaker at two public events during which they will share their perspectives about leading the academic enterprise at a Catholic, Jesuit University in the 21st century. Each session will include an opportunity for you to ask questions, and I encourage the entire campus community to attend and provide feedback via the links that will be created on the provost search website. My thanks go to the search committee and chair Professor John Su for selecting four excellent candidates.

Another item I hope you can add to your calendar is Mission Week 2015. We’ll be joined by several renowned speakers from around the world who are affiliated with Catholic Relief Services. They will help guide us on our annual exploration of our university’s Catholic, Jesuit intellectual mission and how that mission might be further expanded.

As an aside, I am deeply grateful to all who further expanded our mission by participating in service and learning journeys over the Christmas break. Imagine the pride I felt for Marquette when I received an unsolicited email last week from a Habitat for Humanity volunteer in North Carolina. He wrote to me about having the pleasure of working with Marquette students “who gave selflessly of themselves….these young people were just great to work with, and to observe. They all were hard working and willing to learn new things.” I’ve also been alerted to Marquette business students on an applied global business learning trip to Bangladesh and others who were part of a service trip to New Orleans.

I know many more students were involved with similar projects and I thank you all for living the portion of our mission that states we should “give concrete expression to their beliefs by giving of themselves in service to those in need.”

For those of you who have ever been interested in running a marathon or just want to get in better shape for the new year, we’re organizing a Marquette team of students, faculty and staff to participate in the Oct. 4, 2015, Lakefront Marathon. Registration for the marathon starts on Jan. 18 and the Marquette team will be part of a competition against runners from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Concordia University. To discuss joining the team and all of the support services being made available, there will be four organizational meetings this week in the Alumni Memorial Union:

  • Noon Tuesday, Jan. 13, room 254;
  • Noon Wednesday, Jan. 14, room 163;
  • 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, room 157; and
  • 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, room 163.

Runners of all levels are invited to participate and find out more at these sessions.  I want to thank Tim Cigelske, Kristin Kipp and Ali Myszewski for organizing our Marquette team.

Finally, regardless of whether you are entering your last semester here at Marquette, making your way through your first year (and first Wisconsin winter) or somewhere in between, I offer you my prayers and best wishes for success this semester.


Dr. Michael R. Lovell

Marquette University

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