Give Marquette

Marquette University Alumni Association

All-University Recipients

Spirit of Marquette Award

Joanna Bauza and Timothy Mullen

Madrid, Spain

In their 15 years of marriage, Joanna and Tim have never let distance stand in the way of their commitment to Marquette. While living in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the couple spent 12 years serving as alumni volunteer directors of admissions for Marquette, encouraging local students to consider their alma mater, hosting Summer Send-off events for newly accepted freshmen and their families, and eventually creating the Miguel de Cervantes Scholarship for Marquette students from Puerto Rico.

Their enthusiasm is clearly contagious: Marquette’s number of Puerto Rican students has increased tenfold since 2002, with more than 100 students accepted for this fall.

“Without a doubt, going to Marquette was the best experience in my life,” Tim says. “I would probably have never met my wife, moved to Puerto Rico and started a company in Puerto Rico or even learned Spanish if I hadn’t gone there. I will always be in debt to Marquette and feel blessed to have had the chance.”

Marquette was just as memorable for Joanna. A native of Puerto Rico who was the No. 1-ranked Puerto Rican women’s tennis player for five years, Joanna helped Marquette reach the NCAA tennis tournament for the first time in university history in 1997 and was a three-time MVP of the tennis team.

That drive paid off when she and Tim decided to launch their own business after working for technology companies in Chicago. The Cervantes Group, which specializes in information technology consulting and talent acquisition, began in 2004 and quickly grew into a multimillion-dollar company with offices in San Juan, Chicago, Boston and Madrid. Now they’re working to open offices in Mexico and Miami later this year. Tim is also chief executive officer for C3 (pronounced “c-cubed”), a new startup software and mobile development outsourcing company based in Puerto Rico.

“I define success as being able to do what you love for a living,” says Joanna, president of the Cervantes Group. “My personal formula for success is to follow your gut and not be afraid to take risks.”

Despite the demands of entrepreneurial life, Joanna and Tim always make time for Marquette. They started a summer internship program within their company for Marquette students and, most recently, were part of the alumni team that created the Marquette scholarship in memory of their dear college friend, James Foley, Arts ’96.

“He is an inspiration to us, and we’ll never forget him,” Joanna says. Tim adds: “He was one of my best friends in the world, one of a kind, and I miss him.”

Joanna and Tim live out the Marquette mission in other ways, too. They established a Service Day at the Cervantes Group and regularly support a variety of causes, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, supporting low-income Puerto Ricans who do not have medical insurance; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Hispanic Councils; and more.

“Marquette’s values have been instilled in my soul,” Joanna says. “Every day is an opportunity to make a difference, and Tim and I do not take this for granted.”