CNBC television star Lemonis, Marquette University exceed $1 Million Challenge fundraising goal

March 14, 2016

MILWAUKEE — The Marquette University community responded enthusiastically to the giving challenge issued by alumnus and CNBC star Marcus Lemonis, combining to raise a total of $1,301,029 for student scholarships and other university initiatives.

Lemonis, host of CNBC's The Profit, teamed with Marquette to launch the $1 Million Challenge on Jan. 5, 2016. The challenge ran through March 12 and raised a total of $1,001,029 from 3,072 donors. Lemonis added $300,000 of his own funds.

"The $1 Million Challenge created awareness while also celebrating the quality education offered at Marquette University to its past and present student body," Lemonis said. "We appreciate the support of our alumni, friends, area businesses, faculty, staff and major donors very much. Their participation is what made this fund raising challenge a success and I hope it inspires others to give back to their communities and specifically to education across the country."

Through the challenge, Lemonis hoped to attract members of the Marquette community who don't normally give to the university. There was no minimum donation for individuals who contribute, and the maximum donation for individuals was $5,000. When he launched the challenge, Lemonis pledged up to $300,000 of his own funds, donating $100,000 each time the university community hit one of three giving benchmarks.

"Marcus not only put a challenge before us, he also demonstrated great hands-on leadership throughout the process to ensure its success," said Marquette President Michael R. Lovell. "I'm very grateful for his commitment to our university."

Lemonis, a 1995 Marquette alumnus of the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, is the chairman and CEO of Camping World, the nation's largest RV and outdoor retailer, and Good Sam, the world's largest RV owner's organization. On The Profit, he assists struggling businesses around the country from a variety of industries.