Marquette President Michael R. Lovell to speak at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s 175 Alive event

April 11, 2019

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell will open 175 Alive, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s 175th anniversary celebration on Saturday, May 4, at 10 a.m. at Pere Marquette Park.

President Lovell will reflect on the life of Archbishop John Martin Henni, Milwaukee’s first archbishop, and his connection to Marquette University.

“Everything about our history is a credit to the efforts of Bishop Henni,” President Lovell said. “He had this great passion for education and worked tirelessly to raise the funds to start a school in Milwaukee. It’s an honor for me to share with everyone today the ties that bind together our archdiocese, city and university.”

175 Alive celebrates the day Archbishop Henni arrived in Milwaukee in 1844. The celebration starts in Pere Marquette Park, then processes to St. John’s Cathedral for an 11 a.m. Mass. The celebration continues in Cathedral Square with a fun-filled family day of music, food and games. 

Marquette began as a dream of Archbishop Henni, but it took a trip overseas to find an investor to make it a reality. Belgian businessman Guillaume Joseph DeBoey promised $16,000 for the proposed "academy of learning." It was hardly enough to fund the establishment of a college but just enough to keep Archbishop Henni's dream alive for the next eight years until he could purchase a parcel of land on a hill topping today's North 10th and West State streets.

Nearly three decades passed before the doors of Marquette College, a small liberal arts school for men, named after Rev. Jacques Marquette, S.J., opened on Aug. 28, 1881.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or