Dr. Terry Rynne, Co-President of the Sally and Terry Rynne Foundation, returned to Marquette University to finish his doctorate in Theology in 2007, after years as a successful health care consultant. While finishing his studies, he started to discuss the role of peace centers at universities with Dr. Michael Duffey, his dissertation advisor.
After he completed his dissertation, Rynne and his wife Sally approached several universities about opening a Center for Peacemaking on their campus. They chose Marquette University as the best fit and awarded the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking a $500,000, four-year "matching" grant.
Dr. Michael Duffey recommended a former Notre Dame classmate, Rev. G. Simon Harak, S.J., as Director for the new center. Harak at that time was national coordinator for the War Resisters League, the oldest and largest secular pacifist group in the nation. After a series of interviews, Rynne, Duffey, and the Marquette community welcomed Father Harak as the first director of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking.
The new team worked for months interviewing members of the Marquette community and drafting a proposal. Then on August 27, 2007 the Center for Peacemaking was approved with an unanimous vote from the Faculty Senate and generous support from Marquette University President Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., former Provost Madeline Wake, and former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Michael McKinney.
The Marquette University Center for Peacemaking officially opened on January 15, 2008 and has been building a community dedicated to nonviolence at Marquette since its inception.