Give Marquette

Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Nursing Recipients

Friends of the College of Nursing Award

Susan Cronin Real and Daniel S. RealSUSAN CRONIN REAL, BUS AD, '81, AND DANIEL S. REAL, BUS AD '81

Burr Ridge, Ill.

To Dan and Susan Real, experience is everything.

• From both sets of parents, they experienced the importance of generosity, compassion and making sacrifices for loved ones.

• Their Marquette experience helped them mature and taught them the value of hard work and lifelong learning.         

• The university’s urban environment gave them the experience of seeing people in need daily and encouraged them to take action to make a difference.  

• They fondly recall their experiences at The Avalanche, which “thoroughly improved (their) collective social skills that have proven invaluable throughout life.”  

The Reals' life experiences after graduation included raising three children and Dan’s successful insurance career. Most recently, he established ECC Insurance Brokers in 1999 to help solve clients' high-risk insurance needs. He loves his work because it’s a never-ending learning process and he interacts every day with interesting people. He also doesn’t ever see himself retiring. “I am having too much fun with it,” he says.

Beyond career and family, Dan and Susan’s life experiences were shaped by their parents’ “lust for new adventures.” Every year they give each other an experience gift of travel to a new country or an event that allows them to create their own bucket list. So, when they decided to give back to their alma mater, it made sense that the gift would be an experience. In 2006, they combined two philanthropic priorities — Marquette and La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago, where Dan is vice-chair for the board of trustees — by establishing a scholarship for undergraduate nursing students. Recipients gain invaluable hands-on experience through an externship at La Rabida and, upon completing the assignment, are eligible for scholarship assistance.

Experience shaped Dan and Susan to be the generous couple they are. They, in turn, are shaping positive experiences for others.

Fun facts about Susan and Dan:
Hometowns: Susan, Chicago; Dan, Stow, Ohio
Favorite quote: “To those that have been given much, much is expected in return.”
The Marquette faculty members who had an impact on the Reals: Dr. Bill Cullinan, Dr. Margaret Callahan and Rev. Robert A Wild, S.J.
Favorite Marquette memory: Attending Marquette basketball games.
In grade school, Susan wanted to be a teacher and Dan wanted to be a successful business person.
Most influential person in Susan’s life: Her father
Most influential person in Dan’s life: His parents