Alumni couple gives $1 million to honor Marquette Nurses as National Nursing Week celebrations begin

May 9, 2022

marquette nurse patchMILWAUKEE — As National Nursing Week celebrations begin across the country, Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell today shared that an anonymous alumni couple has stepped forward and committed to a $1 million gift to honor Marquette Nurses and bolster efforts to renovate and build an addition for the new home for the College of Nursing.

The couple emphasized the importance of “establishing a home for Marquette Nurses that creates a sense of belonging and cultivates wellness opportunities across the college for nurses who give tirelessly of themselves.”

The anonymous couple, who is actively involved in the Time to Rise comprehensive fundraising campaign, said, “We measure ourselves against the words, Be The Difference, quite often. We have taken to heart the Ignatian aspect of Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit education and we reflected on the best ways we can pay it forward for future generations of Marquette Nurses.”

Last week, President Lovell shared the university’s plans to build a new home for Marquette Nurses in the heart of campus. University leaders have outlined a vision and strategic plan to add an additional 200 undergraduate nurses to the College of Nursing over a four-year period.

While sharing the inspiration behind their gift, the couple said they re-engaged with Marquette leaders in recent years and, “All of the sights, sounds and emotions of our experiences came roaring back.” They discussed their own college experiences which drove their generosity. One came from a large family and was only able to attend Marquette University because of significant scholarship support. The other answered the call to be a nurse while studying at Milwaukee’s St. Joseph Hospital — the campus for Marquette Nurses from 1963 to 1982 — and sought a greater sense of connection and community across campus for today’s students.

“The remarkable generosity of our supporters continues to transform the lives of our students and will create an innovative, meaningful home for Marquette Nurses that is central to our campus,” President Michael R. Lovell said. “Our nurses are sought after and make an immediate impact, serving as courageous leaders who carry forward our mission in their work.”

The university is continuing to raise funds on the renovated and expanded David A. Straz, Jr. Hall, the facility where future College of Nursing students will call home.

“It is especially significant to announce this gift to launch our National Nurses Week celebration,” said acting Dean Jill Guttormson, Ph.D., MS, RN. “This gift is a wonderful way to honor both our current students and our Marquette Nurses across the world who live out our Jesuit tenet of cura personalis, caring for the whole person.”

This commitment is the third Time to Rise gift from the anonymous couple, Vice President for University Advancement Tim McMahon said. Previously, the couple established two scholarships to open doors for students in financial need.

“This gift to support the dynamic new home for our College of Nursing will impact generations of Marquette nurses,” McMahon said. “We are humbled by the generosity of these remarkable campaign leaders who are living our promise to Be The Difference.”

For the first year it ranked undergraduate nursing programs, U.S. News and World Report ranked Marquette’s program 43rd in the nation (2022). The College of Nursing’s Master of Science program is ranked 61st (2023); its Doctor of Nursing Practice program is ranked 85th (2023); and the Nurse Midwifery program is 20th (2016). U.S. News ranked Marquette’s online graduate nursing program 38th in 2022, up from 47th in 2021. New for 2022, the college’s online program was also ranked 9th nationally for veterans and 12th in the Nursing Administration/Leadership specialty category.

Time to Rise: The Marquette Promise to Be The Difference
Marquette’s $750 million comprehensive fundraising campaign is the most ambitious in Marquette’s 141-year history. The campaign is elevating resources to advance the university’s mission and pillars of excellence, leadership, faith and service. The university has raised more than $577 million to date, amounting to 77% of its goal. With donors giving $237 million dedicated to scholarship funds, the campaign is significantly bolstering Marquette’s commitment to an accessible education. More than 55,000 donors have already supported Time to Rise, including 46% of donors making their first ever gift to the university.

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