Marquette receives $1 million gift from Slaggie Family Foundation for reimagined Wellness + Recreation Facility

Aug. 21, 2023

Construction at the Wellness + Recreation facilityMILWAUKEE — Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell announced today that the Slaggie Family Foundation has committed a $1 million gift to continue fundraising momentum for a reimagined Wellness + Recreation facility on campus. Construction on the transformational facility is underway as university leaders continue to fundraise for the 180,000-square-foot building that will bring fitness, recreation, wellness, medical and counseling services under one roof.

This marks the second million-dollar gift the Slaggie Family Foundation has made during Marquette’s Time to Rise campaign. In February 2021, the university announced that the foundation led the charge with a $1 million gift to help preserve one of the university’s most sacred spaces — St. Joan of Arc Chapel.

“It’s beyond meaningful for our family to be a leading donor on a Marquette project that’s going to reshape and reinforce a core Jesuit value: cura personalis,” said Matthew Slaggie, a 2004 graduate from the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication. “Integrating physical and mental health addresses the logical sense of that value, no doubt. Now, students who may be in the early stages of a mental health crisis will have an efficient way to seek out programs and services that can help them persevere and avoid a disastrous outcome if otherwise ignored."

Slaggie shared that their gift was made in honor of President Lovell and First Lady Amy Lovell. The Wellness + Recreation facility’s new 30,000-square-foot, centralized three-story wellness tower will include the Lovell Center for Student Well-Being and integrate the university’s student health, wellness and recreation services. The facility will foster community, inclusiveness and engagement, and provide a destination on campus that supports the physical and mental health needs of the Marquette community. The reimagined facility will result in a 25-percent increase in recreational space and nearly double the wellness and medical space offered on campus today.

“The Slaggie Family Foundation has played a pivotal role in transforming our campus, and we are sincerely grateful that they once again stepped forward to Be The Difference,” President Lovell said. “Their significant gift will positively shape the well-being of our students and have a ripple effect across our region.”   

Building off recent successes

In September 2022, Marquette University Board of Trustees Chair Robert J. Eck made a major announcement honoring the Lovells. The Board of Trustees named the third and fourth floors within the university’s planned wellness tower in their honor — the Lovell Center for Student Well-Being. The Lovells have worked to address mental health across Milwaukee and the region for many years.

With this major gift, Marquette alumni, parents and friends have now contributed more than $7 million to honor the Lovells as part of the more than $23 million in funds currently raised toward the project.

“Our alumni, parents and friends are an important part of writing the next chapters in the story of Marquette. Their passionate support is making a dramatic impact on the student experience,” said Vice President for University Advancement Tim McMahon. “We are incredibly thankful to the Slaggie family for both stepping forward as philanthropic leaders and for meeting a significant challenge of our time.”

Time to Rise campaign progresses

Marquette’s historic Time to Rise campaign has now entered its final year. The campaign continues to drive the university’s Catholic, Jesuit mission forward, surpassing $688 million toward its $750 million goal. The campaign has secured more than 64,000 donors with more than 32,000 (50%) of these donors making their first-ever gift to Marquette. Building on its founding mission to provide an accessible education, Marquette has raised $274 million in scholarship funds. In addition, more than 750 donors have given $100,000 or more in commitments, and 135 donors have given $1 million or greater.

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.

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