Welcome to the IWL Firsts, a feature of key turning points that began the journey of intersectional inclusivity and gender equity at Marquette, which fuels the rich legacy of intersectional inclusivity and gender equity at Marquette University.


  • In 1909, Fr. McCabe bravely opened Marquette’s undergraduate programs to women and lost his job as a result. Yet, he went on to open other campuses to women.
  • In 1938, The Association of Marquette University Women (AMUW) was founded and opened the Alumnae House, the first dormitory for female students on Marquette’s campus. This provided safe, comfortable housing for 85 female students, eliminating the need for commuting and providing escape from crumbling rooming houses, private homes or the need to stay with relatives and family friends. Read more about the AMUW.
  • In 1969, Marquette launched the first Educational Opportunities Program in the nation to provide support for low income and first-generation students, many of whom are women. Learn more about EOP.
  • In 1999, a group of passionately concerned women faculty convinced Fr. Wild to create a Gender Equity Task Force. The task force investigated climate and equity issues that will continue to be addressed through IWL.
  • In Spring 2018, The Women's Innovation Network (WIN) and the Women's Colleagues Program (a partnership between Marquette University and Johnson Controls) held a gathering of over 100 people for the 1st Annual Women in STEM Summit, and organized a diversity and inclusion training called “Becoming Workplace Allies” for over 500 people.
  • In Fall 2018, WIN supported the first black female playwright to have her work performed on Marquette’s campus by organizing facilitated talk-back session after each of her performances, offering free dinner and tickets during the opening night and aggressively promoting her production. These efforts contributed to every performance of this production selling out.
  • In 2019, LUNAFEST, an annual fundraising film festival dedicated to championing women filmmakers and bringing women together in their communities was brought to Milwaukee for the first time by WIN, in partnership with Soroptimist and Black Lens Film Series: A Pillar of Milwaukee Film.
  • In 2020, IWL is partnering with the Women’s Leadership Collaborative to organize the first City-Wide Day for Pay Equity in Milwaukee. Marquette will also host Salary Negotiation workshops on campus for this event.
  • On December 13, 2021, permanent status for IWL passed Marquette's Academic Senate, solidifying IWL at Marquette.