Alumni National Awards

All-University Award Recipients


FRIEND OF THE UNIVERSITY AWARD


Majerus Family FoundationMajerus Family Foundation
Milwaukee

Rick Majerus, Arts ’70, made his name as a tenacious NCAA basketball coach and devoted mentor to his players. But family and friends say Rick’s life was defined much more “by the company he kept rather than the accolades he earned on the court.” His legacy lives on through the Majerus Family Foundation, supporting causes dear to Rick that also reflect the values of his parents, Raymond and Alyce Majerus.

It was from Raymond — who rose to become secretary of the United Automobile Workers before his death in 1987 and who led a long, successful strike against a major Wisconsin manufacturer in the 1950s — that Rick learned to live by a saying attributed to the Jewish sage Hillel: “If I am for myself alone, what good am I?”

“That was the Golden Rule in our family,” says Jodi Majerus, Rick’s sister and the executive director of the Majerus Family Foundation, which works to create opportunities for individuals from all walks of life to reach their potential through the cornerstones of athletics, education, medical research and social justice.

Passionate about athletics his entire life, Rick began assisting men’s basketball coach Al McGuire as a student at Marquette, as well as coaching at the Milwaukee-area Catholic schools he had attended. He was hired as Marquette’s assistant coach in 1971 and served as head coach from 1983–1986, before going on to successful coaching runs with Ball State, The University of Utah and Saint Louis University.

Jodi says Rick was equally passionate about Jesuit education. With its emphasis on broad subject matter, critical thinking and teamwork, she says it represents “everything Rick was about.” He was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college, an achievement that made both Rick and his parents incredibly proud.

In April 2015, the Majerus Family Foundation announced a gift of $1 million to create the Rick Majerus Endowed Scholarship, providing tuition support to first-generation college students in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences who demonstrate financial need. It is the college’s largest-ever endowed scholarship gift.

The scholarship is exactly the “right fit” for honoring her brother and parents, Jodi says, as it creates a partnership with Marquette to help make higher education affordable and accessible while underscoring the Majerus family’s belief in helping others achieve their highest potential.
She adds that she had the privilege to meet three of the recipients at a 2016 scholarship luncheon. “They expressed sincere gratitude,” she says, “and I don’t doubt that they will dedicate themselves to making the community better, in the spirit of the Majerus family.”