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Dear Marquette faculty, staff and students,

As my first semester at Marquette comes to a close and the end of the Advent season fast approaches, I find myself reflecting on the past six months. It is with sincere gratitude that I remember the warm welcome the Marquette family extended to me personally, as well as to my family.

There were many incredible moments during inauguration week festivities. Numerous students, faculty and staff were involved in the planning, and I appreciate all the time and hard work that went into making it such a special time. Other highlights of the past six months include dedicating the School of Dentistry expansion; naming the engineering college the Opus College of Engineering to honor the late Gerald Rauenhorst, Eng '51, Hon Deg '01; gathering 2,186 pounds of food in one hour to benefit the Hunger Task Force; and meeting alumni at the "Journey Continues" events around the country. Certainly the most moving moment of all, though, was the James Foley memorial service and generosity of the Marquette community in honoring him with a scholarship.

Advent is such a special season. It's a time to prepare our hearts to receive Jesus at Christmas and a time to remember the poor and marginalized, serve others, and increase our prayer life — all pillars of the Jesuit tradition. It has been such a blessing to me to be a part of the Marquette community during this season. I am inspired by so many acts of good will that I witness around campus. I want to personally thank you — the faculty, staff and students — for your commitment to Marquette and our Catholic, Jesuit identity. I also want to thank all our alumni for their passion for their alma mater.

I hope that each and every one of you has time to recharge for the spring semester. May you experience the authentic joy of Christmas with your families.

Christmas blessings to you and a happy new year!

Peace in Christ,

Dr. Michael R. Lovell

Marquette University

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