Highlights of Community Engagement

How serious is our commitment to community engagement and social responsibility? Read on.

Educational Opportunity Program

Answering the Call documentaryIn 1969, during a time of racial unrest and under pressure from students, Marquette established the Educational Opportunity Program. This documentary, produced to commemorate the program's 45th anniversary, chronicles the battle for college access for low-income, first-generation students. From its humble beginnings in Milwaukee then to its influence on a national level, now this pioneering program has changed the lives of thousands. National leaders from TRIO cut their teeth at Marquette.

Center for Peacemaking

Center for PeacemakingThe Marquette University Center for Peacemaking operates at the intersection of thought and action. Informed by the Jesuit mission of reconciliation and working for peace, the Center for Peacemaking fosters research and action for the promotion of social justice, human dignity and peace.

As the only academic center at a Catholic university that explicitly focuses on exploring the power of nonviolence, our programs bring together students, faculty and the wider community to achieve three main objectives: formation, scholarship, and community peacemaking.

Global Medical Brigade

Medical BrigadeWhat started as a spring break trip to Honduras in 2003 is now the nonprofit Global Brigades, the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization, serving the poorest of the poor in Honduras, Panama and Ghana.

The numbers speak to the power of Global Brigades. Not even 10 years after that first ad-hoc trip, some 12,500 student volunteers have served 300,000 people. More than 350 Global Brigade chapters have sprung up at universities across the U.S., Canada and Europe, and they bustle with some 5,500 undergraduates trekking to remote villages halfway around the globe annually to work in nine specialty areas: medical, dental, public health, water, business, micro-finance, law, environmental and architecture.

Hunger Clean-up

Hunger Clean-up StudentIn 1989, Hunger Clean-up began as students' modest effort to combat hunger and homelessness in Milwaukee. Twenty-six years later, Hunger Clean-up has grown to be Marquette’s largest day of service, bringing together nearly 1600 volunteers to serve at 45 sites and provided $9,500 in grants to local nonprofits. This stage is set by a dedicated team of student leaders committed to service who work in the fall and spring to mobilize their peers while increasing awareness, support and resources for local programs addressing issues of poverty. Hunger Clean-up has served the Milwaukee community for over 25 years.

Les Aspin Center

Les Aspin CenterOne of the most popular immersion experiences on campus, the Les Aspin Center for Government, celebrated 25 years of giving students the chance to live and work in the nation’s capital. More than 2,000 students have experienced the political process first hand in congressional, executive branch, nonprofit, corporate and journalistic offices.

Service Learning Program

Service LearningFollowing in the Jesuit tradition of faithful service, the Service Learning Program at Marquette facilitates student academic learning through meaningful service experiences, which encourage and enable Marquette's faculty and students to positively impact the community. The Service Learning Program seeks to bring campus and community together in partnership to share resources, meet real community needs and help to educate women and men to become the change agents of tomorrow.

Social Innovation

Social InnovationMarquette’s Catholic, Jesuit identity calls members of the campus community to Be the Difference, to be men and women for others. These fundamental characteristics and traits align with social innovation and social entrepreneurship, attacking root causes of social problems with sustainable models that increase human capability. The Social Innovation Initiative is an ongoing exploration of a fit for social innovation at Marquette, including bundled offerings of speakers, residencies, learning activities, course work, celebrations and community engagements.

Marquette is especially pleased to be recognized as a "changemaker campus," a distinction enjoyed by few university campuses nationally through a selective partnership with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the largest global organization for social entrepreneurs. Marquette was selected with Duke University and Arizona State University in August, 2010, joining George Mason University, University of Maryland and Tulane University, among others.

Urban Scholars

Urban ScholarsIn 2006, Marquette introduced the Urban Scholars program, which offers up to 10 annual, full-tuition renewable scholarships to economically disadvantaged students. Rooted in Marquette's tradition of increasing access to higher education, the scholarship program renews our emphasis on being inclusive and modeling a more diverse community.


Student studying on campus


Driven to realize Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit mission, students, faculty and staff strive to play an increasingly vital role in our city and our world, working with our partners to tackle pressing challenges and build hope where it’s needed most.

Established in early 2016, the university’s Office of Community Engagement serves as the central clearinghouse for community engagement activities, with a focus on bidirectional, community-based research partnerships.

Quick Links


Daniel J. Bergen, Ph.D.
(414) 288-3033
Executive Director
Office of Community Engagement