Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences
Distinguished Alumna of the Year Award
Suzanne L. Ratkowski, Arts '72, Grad '86
Milwaukee native Sue Ratkowski did her best working for the company that asks, "What can brown do for you?"
Sue earned physics and math degrees as a Marquette scholarship student and first donned UPS brown in 1974, working at the company's Elm Grove, Wis., location. In 1985, she landed in Louisville, Ky., where she helped expand the company's air services until she retired in 2007.
Sue will tell you her formula for professional success was honed from her Marquette degrees and blue-collar roots of Milwaukee's south side.
"Work hard and with integrity and treat people with dignity and respect while always working to help them reach their highest potential," she says.
This is also Sue's formula for volunteer work. Leading the UPS community campaign for United Way for four years and serving on behalf of the Red Cross and Presentation Academy, the oldest girls' high school west of the Appalachians, she has delivered and continues to deliver her best for the Louisville community.
But Sue remains a Milwaukee girl at heart. She maintains a Milwaukee residence, traveling "home" often to visit family and make sure her 89-year-old mom has "everything she needs." A former Marquette band member during the Al McGuire era, Sue also makes it a point to watch basketball when in town.
Marquette blue and gold and UPS brown: Sue wears both well.
Fun facts about Suzanne
Her favorite place on campus to study, socialize and relax with friends: She played in the band and mostly hung out at the Band House, which has long since been torn down. She “cut classes, played bridge and other card games, and occasionally practiced.” This was during the Al McGuire years, so band trips to NCAA Tournament sites were the highlight of her spring semesters.