Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences
Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award
Dr. Patricia Holt Sackett, Arts ’75, and
Dr. Paul R. Sackett, Arts ’75
While Pat and Paul might view themselves as “plain folks not worth a lot of notice,” their many personal and professional accomplishments counter that modest description. Both have earned doctorates and achieved notable career success — Pat as an analytical chemist for companies including Abbott Laboratories, Pillsbury and 3M, and Paul as a professor of psychology and liberal arts at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.
The couple, both Honors Program undergraduates, met at Marquette’s freshman orientation. Pat, a chemistry major who chose Marquette at the recommendation of her high school science teacher, is now retired from her “life in the lab,” advancing knowledge of food and pharmaceutical chemistries.
Paul, whose parents also met as Marquette undergraduates, studied psychology. He has won multiple awards for his teaching, research and service, which has focused on workplace issues including managerial assessment, counterproductive behavior and personnel issues. He served as president of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology from 1993 to 1994, and has worked extensively with the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences, leading national commissions on topics including fairness in psychological testing and setting military enlistment standards.
In 2013 the Sacketts created the first endowed scholarship for students in the Klingler College’s Honors Program. “Between the Honors Program and a passionate chemistry faculty, I was able to acquire far more than four years’ worth of knowledge,” says Pat of her time at Marquette.
The Sacketts volunteer extensively in their community, and as distance-running enthusiasts, they co-direct the FANS 24-hour Race, an annual event that raises scholarship funds for at-risk youth in Minneapolis.
Surprised with the news of the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award, Paul expressed the couple’s gratitude: “The award is exceptionally meaningful given how important Marquette has been to our lives.”
Fun Fact: Pat and Paul were both in the Marquette Chorus — she an alto, he a baritone — and continue to share a passion for arts and culture.