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Dear Marquette students, faculty and staff:

Dr. Michael R. Lovell, presidentIt is a privilege to write to you today on my first official day as Marquette's 24th president. I am humbled to be leading this wonderful university at this point in time. Since my election by the Board of Trustees in March, I've been overwhelmed by the warm welcome that you have given me. From many experiences, including meeting with the University Academic Senate, participating in Preview and attending Mass at St. Joan of Arc Chapel, I already feel at home at Marquette. It has been a pleasure to meet so many of you, and I look forward to getting to know more of you in the days and months to come. When you see me on campus, please do not hesitate to say hello and introduce yourself.

As I take over the role of president, I want to first express my sincere gratitude to Father Wild for his outstanding leadership during a remarkable 16 years as Marquette's president. It's been a pleasure working with Father Wild over the past month as he has helped bring me up to speed on the many challenges and opportunities facing our university. I look forward to continuing working with him in his new role within University Advancement.

As we begin a new fiscal year, I would like to highlight a number of initiatives that will be a priority for campus over the next several months. As a Catholic, Jesuit university committed to an education that transforms lives, leadership of our academic division is vitally important. To that end, the search for a permanent provost will resume at the start of our academic year. Dr. John Su, professor of English, director of the University Core of Common Studies, and member of the University Academic Senate, will chair this search. I look forward to meeting with the search committee at the beginning of the academic year and I plan on working closely with them to identify a permanent provost.

The search for a permanent dean of the College of Business Administration will also resume in the new academic year. This search will be co-chaired by Dr. Michael Akers, professor and chair of accounting, and Dr. Joseph Daniels, professor and chair of economics. The Business Administration search will trail the provost search by about a month so that the permanent provost can be involved in the hiring of the permanent College of Business Administration dean.

Marquette has a proud history of academic and athletic excellence, and we need permanent leadership of our Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Dr. Bill Henk, dean of the College of Education, will be chairing a search committee to identify the next vice president and director of athletics. In addition to Dr. Henk, the search committee will include faculty members Dr. Sarah Bonewits Feldner, associate professor of communication studies, and Dr. Richard Jones, professor of social and cultural sciences and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative. This search will be initiated this summer with the hope that a permanent vice president and director of athletics will be in place this fall.

In addition to these leadership searches, I look forward to working with university leadership, faculty, staff, students and the broader campus community to implement our strategic plan. Working together, we will begin to prioritize campus initiatives that fulfill our vision of being recognized among the most innovative and accomplished Catholic and Jesuit universities in the world. All of our efforts will be focused on enhancing an already-strong student experience and tradition of inquiry and service that have allowed our campus to make a profound impact on the lives of others for more than 130 years.

Finally, I invite you to join me for many of the Inauguration events, particularly the Mass on September 18 and the Inauguration Ceremony on September 19. At the Inauguration, I will pledge my service to Marquette. I look forward to doing so in the presence of Marquette's students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. I want to ask you all, whatever your faith may be, to pray for me that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out my duties, and that I may faithfully serve God and Marquette.

Michael R. Lovell
Marquette University