1. Marquette president says university doing well but expresses caution

In difficult economic times, Marquette University is “weathering the storm and doing decently well,” President Robert A. Wild, S.J., said Tuesday.

In his annual President’s Address to faculty and staff, Father Wild noted that “Marquette’s balance sheet is sound, our public credit rating is strong, our cash reserves sufficient and fully available, we will again this year operate in the black, and our endowment, while certainly down, is diversified, well-managed and performing ahead of benchmarks.” At the same time, he warned that the university must carefully monitor hiring, “be aggressive in looking for further ways to save money,” and have contingency plans in place.

Citing a 17 percent increase in applications for the incoming freshman class, Father Wild said the university is aiming at a class of 1,900 or more. “With more than 80 percent of our operating budget coming from tuition, room and board and fees, you can understand the negative impact any significant decline in enrollment would have on operations,” he said.

Father Wild stressed the importance of student financial aid, noting that the fiscal year 2010 budget will include an additional $4 million for that purpose. “While we do not have the resources to solve every problem, we will in these hard times dedicate resources as best we can to keep pace with such needs as they arise, especially for our current students,” he said. He urged faculty and staff to watch for students who may be experiencing financial problems and to notify the Office of Student Financial Aid.

While acknowledging, “fundraising results have slowed considerably,” Father Wild noted that “there is lots of enthusiasm and good will among our donors and friends, many of them are quite willingly making smaller gifts in support of our ongoing operations, and we continue to stay connected with them and wait for better times.”

Father Wild also highlighted some of the university’s accomplishments in the past year, including progress on assessment, research grants and breakthroughs, involvement in the First Year Experience self-study, early success for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the work of the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality.

“There is every reason for us to remain fundamentally optimistic and hopeful for the future and steadfastly loyal to the values that imbue a Marquette education,” he said.

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2. Pulitzer Prize winner to lecture about media ethics today

Clarence Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist from the Chicago Tribune, will deliver the William R. Burleigh Media Ethics Lecture today, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m. His Mission Week lecture, “‘Media Ethics’ Is Not A Contradiction,” will take place in the Monaghan Ballroom, AMU.

The lecture is sponsored by the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication.

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3. Nobel Prize winner speaks on human rights tomorrow

Dr. Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman and first Iranian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, will deliver the Mission Week keynote address “Human Rights and the Consequences of Faith,” tomorrow, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. in the Monaghan Ballroom, AMU. Tickets for Ebadi's address are no longer available, but her speech will be simulcast in AMU 157. No tickets are necessary to attend the simulcast.

Anyone with tickets that won’t be used is requested to turn them in to Brooks Lounge or the Office of Mission and Identity so they can be redistributed.

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4. Campus women invited to enjoy poetry and chocolate today

A “Women’s Prayer and Poetry (and CHOCOLATE!)” Mission Week event today, Feb. 4, will feature a public reading of women’s prayer, poetry and fair trade coffee and chocolate samples. The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in AMU 407.

Participants will explore readings from the contemplative traditions of many world religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.

The program is sponsored by the Office of Student Development, the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality and the Office of International Education.

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5. Award-winning Persepolis movie shown tonight

The Office of International Education and Office of Student Development will sponsor a Mission Week showing of Persepolis today, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. in Cudahy 001.

This award-winning film version of the graphic illustrated novel depicts Marjane Satrapi’s life after she leaves Iran for France, her homecoming (both joyful and terrifying), and her subsequent self-imposed exile from her homeland.

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6. Student organization can win grant for nonprofit

Student organizations are invited to participate in the Great MU Serveoff (Competing For Good!) to influence the world with intentional service. The student organization that supplies the greatest percentage of volunteers for the serve-off will receive a grant for their nonprofit.

The Mission Week event will take place Saturday, Feb. 7, from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the AMU rotunda. For more information and to register your group, contact the Office of Student Development at 8-7205.

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7. Students can explore their talents at leadership summit

Students can explore their individual gifts and talents and how they can use their strengths to address critical needs in the community at “WiiAct: Leading with Purpose: The Student Leadership Summit” on Sunday, Feb. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in AMU.

For more information and to register for this Mission Week event, contact the Office of Student Development at 8-7205.

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8. A Mission Week daily reflection — Shazeen Harunani

As a Muslim, I have been taught, as I lead my daily life, to follow a model of incredible patience, love, and faith — the example of Prophet Muhammad. Having such a man as my role model drives me to attempt to be more peaceful in my personal dealings with others, and to treat everyone with respect. It has also driven me to become president of the Muslim Student Association, and to use my position to try to bring people together across ethnic, racial and religious borders. Through our annual Ramadan Dinner Series, open to all, we worked to promote peace and tolerance by using food to connect hungry people from all across campus. We hoped that the dinners would spark open discourse on each table and would cause people to come together and to form new friendships. I believe that by building such tolerance and unity, we can slowly shape a happier, kinder, more compassionate future: a future in which more people are aware of, and try to follow, examples of some of the great human beings of times past.

~ Shazeen Harunani
junior, Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences

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