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Marquette University Alumni Association

Intercollegiate Athletics Recipients

Young Alumnus of the Year

Jamil Lott JAMIL M. LOTT, ARTS '07
St. Paul, Minn.

During his time at Marquette, Jamil grew confident in the idea that he could be much more than a basketball player. Now he’s passing along lessons about exceeding expectations to disadvantaged kids.

Jamil, a behavioral specialist at St. Paul Youth Services in St. Paul, Minn., has the goal of breaking down, or dismantling, long-held racial disparities.

“I am exposing them to something different because I dress in suits and ties, I own my own home, I am educated and articulate,” he says. “Unfortunately, it is rare to see a black male with these qualities in my hometown. Ultimately, I do this because I want people to make healthy decisions and destroy those images of what it means to be black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and so on.”

Jamil, who played for Marquette from 2005–07, was a member of a team that had plenty of success. But, personally, some of his biggest moments came off the court.

Assistant Athletic Director Adrienne Ridgeway reassured him during study sessions at the Al McGuire Center that he was “qualified to be more than a basketball player.” Alexander Peete’s class exposed him to new perspectives on race.

After graduation, social work became his calling.

Now pursuing his master's degree in social work at Augsburg College, Jamil hopes to one day open a family development center with his wife.

“I am constantly researching solutions to curtail unhealthy practices performed by students, families, communities and the nation at large,” he says. “I work to treat everyone with love, respect and kindness all while addressing poor choices on a micro and macro scale.”

Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Favorite quote: “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” — James Baldwin
Dream dinner guest: “Cornell West, an American philosopher, academic, activist, author, public intellectual and prominent of the Democratic Socialists of America.”
Marquette faculty member who had an impact: “Alexander Peete had an impact on me. He pointed out thought-provoking material I had never encountered about blacks and Africans, and he was the only professor I had who was black.”
Favorite Marquette memory: “Adrienne Ridgeway, assistant athletic director, sitting down with me in the Eagle’s Nest while showing me that I was qualified to be more than a basketball player.”
Career he aspired to in grade school: “I always wanted to be a superhero. But, ultimately, I wanted to be accepted and loved because my family raised me in a loving environment.”
Most influential people: “My grandfather instilled certain values and beliefs into my mother, who then raised me accordingly. These two individuals prepared me to be equipped to handle the pressures of the world. They stressed education, a good work ethic, church, and treating everyone with love and respect, especially my family.”