Time to Rise campaign goal exceeded, Fork Farms partnership announced at annual Marquette University Presidential Address

Jan. 31, 2024

President Michael R. Lovell delivered his 10th Presidential AddressMILWAUKEE — Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell discussed the state of Marquette University and highlighted many of its successes in 2023, while also sharing exciting plans and developments for the future during his 10th annual Presidential Address on Wednesday.

Time to Rise campaign

President Lovell announced that Marquette has surpassed its $750 million goal in its historic Time to Rise campaign — raising more than $250 million in just the last two years of the eight-year campaign. The campaign has resulted in $767 million to date. Emphasizing that “more significant opportunities and needs remain,” President Lovell challenged the Marquette community to drive toward the completion of the campaign in June 2024.

More than $304 million has been given to support student scholarships, accounting for over 40% of campaign contributions. More than 68,000 donors have contributed to Time to Rise to date, with more than 51% of them being first-time donors to the university.

“When we first envisioned this remarkable effort, we had one overriding principle to lean on: belief,” President Lovell said. “Across our world, the Marquette community of alumni, parents and friends displays profound passion. We are filled with the spirit of gratitude and want to thank our entire Marquette community for their philanthropic support that helped us reach this important milestone.”

Marquette signs first university partnership agreement with Fork Farms

Marquette is the first university in the country to sign a partnership agreement with Fork Farms​, which produces the most efficient, scalable and transformative indoor hydroponics technology on the planet​. The partnership aligns with Marquette’s mission and sustainability efforts. The university will receive several flex farms on campus for growing fresh food, which will support programs designed to address food scarcity on campus and in the community.

Fork Farms – in the top 25% of fastest growing private companies in America – is formally partnering with Marquette Business, and this year’s student “Pitch Progress” competition, run by the Center for Professional Selling, will focus increasing the partnership.

Record-breaking year for research and student success

Faculty have continued Marquette’s record-breaking growth in research, setting records for both research and development expenditures and research funding. In fiscal year 2022, the university surpassed $40 million in research and development expenditures and set a record with $15.3 million in new research funding. Under President Lovell’s leadership, Marquette has grown research by 87% over the past 10 years.

Marquette’s Student Success Initiative is closing the equity gap with a record setting retention rate of 91.4% for first-year retention, the highest since the university started recording this metric 20 years ago. Marquette’s approach to student success values both formation and academic achievement.

With an ecosystem of coordinated resources and experts, the student success initiative facilitates connections, programming, tools, staffing and more across all colleges and schools. By better serving students, Marquette aims to boost its six-year graduation rate and improve its year 1-2 retention rate and first destination outcomes.

The Lemonis Center for Student Success will formally open later this year, making it easier for Marquette students to ask for help and successfully find it. The Lemonis Center will become the physical hub of campuswide services, centralizing what’s available and providing flexible physical space for programmatic resources and meaningful interactions.

Additional progress highlighted in the Presidential Address:

  • President Lovell formally unveiled Guided by Mission, Inspired to Change: Marquette’s Strategic Plan for 2031. The framework for the new strategic plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in December. Leaders were announced for implementation of the strategic plan, which will begin this semester.
  • Two updates were given on safety initiatives borne out of the President's Task Force on Public Safety recommendation: EagleExpress and Marquette University Police Department’s Behavioral Health Unit. EagleExpress, MUPD’s safe ride service, launched in January 2023 and has provided more than 100,000 rides in less than a year. Average wait time for a ride is under 10 minutes, and the service has a rating of 4.8/5 stars. MUPD’s Behavioral Health Unit involves a full-time civilian crisis worker to address mental health crises​, providing support and training for MUPD officers​, while developing long-term solutions for our community​.
  • A St. Ignatius statue will be installed on campus this spring. Sharing the Society of Jesus founder’s reminder to “Go forth and set the world on fire,” the statue will be seated near the Alumni Memorial Union outside the Chapel of the Holy Family. The statue is part of a larger renovation to Chapel of the Holy Family and will add another sacred space on campus for quiet reflection and contemplation.
  • 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 kevin.m.conway@marquette.edu