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Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Education Recipients

Educational Policy and Leadership Achievement Award

Dr. Melinda Lawlor Skrade

ARTS '81, GRAD '87, '04


Melinda Skrade could be considered the quintessential ambassador for Catholic education. Along with her five siblings, she heeded the advice of her parents to attend Marquette, where she described her on-campus experience as “transformational.”

“Marquette captured me at age 17 and at age 52 still holds my heart and soul captive,” she says. “A school is only as strong as the people who represent it and model it. I was blessed to have strong thinkers who cultivated my personal understanding of injustice, political inequities and articulation of a greater good.”

Melinda’s Marquette experience paved the way for her career in Catholic education, which she calls a vocation, and she has served for more than 25 years as a teacher in social sciences and as chief administrator of Milwaukee’s Pius XI High School.

“As a leader of the largest coeducational Catholic high school in Wisconsin, it is my goal to provide educational experiences with transformative potential to alter future life opportunities,” she says.

Along the way, Melinda learned about the importance of philanthropy and giving students the chance to attend Marquette. “Scholarships are critical to support deserving, hard-working families who, like my parents, would love to send their children through Catholic grade school, high school and Marquette,” she says. “There is no more fulfilling work than to use what power you have to bring others to the table.”

Fun facts about Melinda:
Hometown: Oak Park, Ill.
Favorite book: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Someone alive or dead she’d like to have dinner with: Her grandpa, William Devereux
The Marquette faculty members who had an impact on Melinda:  Jim Rhodes, Rev. Francis Paul Prucha, S.J., Dr. Tom Hachey, Dr. Robert Lowe and Dr. Bill Pink
Favorite Marquette memory: When Marquette baseball player Phil Skrade stopped her in the Gym and asked for her name.
In grade school, Melinda wanted to be in education to shape institutional change.
Most influential people in her life: Other than her family, Abraham Lincoln