Marquette's College of Health Sciences receives $1 million estate gift

November 15, 2017

Donation will establish the Michael and Jeanne Schmitz Family Depression Research Fund

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University's College of Health Sciences today announced that it has received a planned gift pledge of $1 million from Michael and Jeanne Schmitz. The gift will be used to establish the Michael and Jeanne Schmitz Family Depression Research Fund.

The fund will support depression research efforts in the college's Charles E. Kubly Mental Health Research Center, including supporting the BioDiscovery Imaging Core and BioDiscovery Cellular and Molecular Core, each of which are key discovery centers for the underlying neurobiological causes of diseases like depression.

"We have experienced first-hand the devastation that depression can bring to our families with the loss of our son, Joey, a Marquette High School graduate who committed suicide as a freshman in college," said Michael Schmitz. "We've investigated excellent research programs at other institutions and have concluded that Dr. William Cullinan's research team [at Marquette] has the best potential for a breakthrough achievement toward more effective treatment of this disease."

"Where there is a biological basis, there is hope for effective biological treatment," said Dr. William E. Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences and director of the Integrative Neuroscience Research Center at Marquette. "We've built a team of research neuroscientists who are focused on finding these underlying biological bases of diseases like depression and discovering new and more effective methods of treatment. The Schmitz family's generous gift will allow us to continue to grow and enhance our efforts."

The gift reflects the university's continued commitment to values-driven research excellence and underscores a growing culture of philanthropy to support the meaningful, life-changing research occurring at Marquette.

"It is so important that we counter the mental health stigma in our society and provide hope for those who are impacted," said President Michael R. Lovell. "The College of Health Sciences is at the forefront of mental health neuroscience research, and this important gift from the Schmitz family will lend tremendous support to its efforts. On behalf of the university and the community, I thank the Schmitz family for their generosity."