Association of Marquette University Women
Mary Neville Bielefeld Award
Mary Pat Klein Pfeil, Jour '69
Mary Pat (Klein) Pfeil knows Marquette not only as a student but as a faculty member, administrator, parent and, now, grandparent. “My Marquette education prepared me well for my career — and my life,” she says.
With more than 40 years of experience in education, public relations and nonprofits, Mary Pat has earned a national reputation for crisis communication and issues management. She is the author of numerous magazine articles, and co-author of several workbooks on school public relations and a textbook on newspaper circulation. “I feel fortunate to have combined my passions for education, writing and mentoring young professionals into leadership positions throughout my career,” she notes.
As president of the Southeastern Wisconsin affiliate of Alpha Sigma Nu — the honor society of Jesuit universities — she witnesses Marquette’s mission being put into action. “I am inspired by the many ways in which Marquette students and alumni continue to give back to their alma mater, their communities and, indeed, the world,” she says.
Mary Pat previously served as president of the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association, as well as on the boards of the National School Public Relations Association, Association of Marquette University Women, Milwaukee Symphony League, Spina Bifida Association, Education Foundation of Wauwatosa and Parents Plus.
Today, Mary Pat and her husband, Dennis, treasure time with their 12 grandchildren; their oldest, Jack, is a freshman at Marquette. She attended the 1977 NCAA men’s basketball championship game in Atlanta, and served as Eucharistic minister during Mother Teresa’s visit to Milwaukee in 1981 — two of her most cherished Marquette memories.
Fun fact: It’s a Pfeil Christmas tradition to find blue and gold packages under the tree filled with Marquette spirit wear and gifts.