Community Engagement Highlights

How serious is our commitment to community engagement and social responsibility? Read on.

Burke Scholars 

The Burke Foundation and Marquette University are pleased to offer the Burke Scholarship Program. This scholarship was created through the generosity of the late Richard A. Burke, a 1956 graduate of the College of Business Administration and the founder of Trek Corp. The Burke Scholarship is a four-year program for first-year, full-time undergraduate students who have a passion for social justice and a commitment to serve others. This full-tuition scholarship is awarded annually to 10 academically talented Wisconsin high school seniors who exhibit leadership, have demonstrated exceptional commitment to community, and aspire to pursue careers that benefit the public good. Scholarship recipients may also receive a stipend for living expenses based on their financial need.

Center for Peacemaking

The Marquette University Center for Peacemaking operates at the intersection of thought and action. Informed by the Jesuit mission of reconciliation and working for peace, the Center for Peacemaking fosters research and action for the promotion of social justice, human dignity and peace.

As the only academic center at a Catholic university that explicitly focuses on exploring the power of nonviolence, our programs bring together students, faculty and the wider community to achieve three main objectives: formation, scholarship and community peacemaking.

Educational Opportunity Program

In 1969, during a time of racial unrest and under pressure from students, Marquette established the Educational Opportunity Program for college access for low-income, first-generation students. From its humble beginnings in Milwaukee then to its influence on a national level now, this pioneering program has changed the lives of thousands. National leaders from TRiO cut their teeth at Marquette.

Global Brigades

What started as a spring break trip to Honduras in 2003 is now the nonprofit Global Brigades, the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization, serving vulnerable communities in countries such as Honduras, Panama and Ghana.

The numbers speak to the power of Global Brigades. Not even 10 years after that first ad hoc trip, 12,500 student volunteers had served 300,000 people. More than 350 Global Brigade chapters have sprung up at universities across the U.S., Canada and Europe, and they bustle with 5,500 undergraduates trekking to remote villages halfway around the globe annually to work in nine specialty areas: medical, dental, public health, water, business, micro-finance, law, environmental and architecture.

Haggerty Museum of Art

The seeds for the Haggerty Museum of Art were planted in 1889, when Rev. Stanislaus L. Lalumiere, S.J., donated Père Marquette and the Indians by Wilhelm Lamprecht to then-Marquette College. Seventy years later, English professor Dr. John Pick formed the Marquette University Fine Arts Committee to promote the arts and survey the works of art on campus. In the late 1970s, the Fine Arts Committee, chaired by Dr. Curtis L. Carter and the newly formed Marquette University Women’s Council, collaborated to build a permanent home for Marquette’s art collection. The Haggerty Museum of Art opened in 1984.

As a teaching museum, the Haggerty seeks to enhance the undergraduate educational experience by engaging students in various disciplines to think about the world and their subject matter through the lenses of the visual arts. The museum also works collaboratively with elementary and middle school teachers, local artists, and College of Education faculty and students to design programs that engage children and youth in educational activities. Additional educational opportunities for the campus and community include free tours, lectures, workshops and performances.

Check out WaterMarks: An Atlas of Water and the City of Milwaukee, one of the museum’s innovative collaborations involving the United Community Center, UCC Acosta Middle School, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, KK River Neighbors in Action, Reflo – Sustainable Water Solutions and City as Living Laboratory.

Community Day of Service

In 1989, Community Day of Service began as students' modest effort to combat hunger and homelessness in Milwaukee. Community Day of Service has grown to be Marquette’s largest day of service, bringing together nearly 1,600 volunteers to serve at 45 sites and providing more than $9,500 in grants to local nonprofits. This stage is set by a dedicated team of student leaders committed to service who work in the fall and spring to mobilize their peers while increasing awareness, support and resources for local programs addressing issues of poverty. Community Day of Service has served the Milwaukee community for more than 30 years.

Les Aspin Center

One of the most popular immersion experiences on campus, the Les Aspin Center for Government, celebrated 35 years of giving students the chance to live and work in the nation’s capital. More than 3,000 students have experienced the political process firsthand in congressional, executive branch, nonprofit, corporate and journalistic offices.

Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics

The mission of the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics is to increase access to justice and legal resources for the Milwaukee community. Volunteer attorneys and law students work together in our free brief legal advice clinics serving more than 5,000 clients each year. The experience provides law students with practice-ready skills, exposure to a variety of legal issues, and a valuable professional network.

Midnight Run

Contrary to what the name implies, Midnight Run has nothing to do with running or midnight! Midnight Run considers itself to be a movement of compassion towards the community on the margins of society. It began as a student response to a growing community need in 1988. Midnight Run focuses on serving the particular needs of the hungry and homeless people living in the Marquette neighborhood and beyond. This program is organized by a coordinating team of Marquette students under the supervision of Campus Ministry. Volunteers serve in area meal programs, pantries and shelters. Service in Midnight Run is meant to challenge students to integrate their experiences with their faith. Volunteers serve at the same service site on a weekly basis throughout the semester. Midnight Run's philosophy is rooted in the Gospel, with Matthew 25 serving as its hallmark, “What so ever you do for the least of these, you do for me.” Midnight Run is based on the fundamental belief in the dignity and worth of all persons and strives to cultivate a sense of responsibility for caring for all members of our community. No running required – Just walk with your neighbor!

To learn more about other initiatives through which Marquette University engages those facing housing instability or homelessness, visit our Homelessness Resources page.

Service Learning Program

Following in the Jesuit tradition of faithful service, the Service Learning Program at Marquette facilitates student academic learning through meaningful service experiences, which encourage and enable Marquette's faculty and students to positively impact the community. The Service Learning Program seeks to bring campus and community together in partnership to share resources, meet real community needs and help educate women and men to become the change agents of tomorrow.

Social Innovation

Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit identity calls members of the campus community to Be The Difference, to be men and women for others. These fundamental characteristics and traits align with social innovation and social entrepreneurship, attacking root causes of social problems with sustainable models that increase human capability. The Social Innovation Initiative is an ongoing exploration of a fit for social innovation at Marquette, including bundled offerings of speakers, residencies, learning activities, course work, celebrations and community engagements.

Marquette is especially pleased to be recognized as a "changemaker campus," a distinction enjoyed by few university campuses nationally through a selective partnership with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the largest global organization for social entrepreneurs. Marquette was selected with Duke University and Arizona State University in August 2010, joining George Mason University, the University of Maryland and Tulane University, among others.

Trinity Fellows

The Trinity Fellows Program of Marquette University was created in keeping with an ideal central to the university's mission – the promotion of justice and faith through service – to develop urban leaders with a commitment to social and economic justice.

The program is intended for individuals who are committed to excellence, demonstrate leadership potential, care about the well-being of others, are passionate about issues of social and economic justice, and who wish to acquire experience in the urban nonprofit sector while studying for two years toward a master's degree.

Urban Scholars

In 2006, Marquette introduced the Urban Scholars program, which offers up to 40 annual, full-tuition renewable scholarships to economically disadvantaged students. Rooted in Marquette's tradition of increasing access to higher education, the scholarship program renews our emphasis on being inclusive and modeling a more diverse community.