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From interim president Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J.

Marquette has worked its way deep into my heart, and I know that is the case for so many of you. So I didn’t need much time to reflect when I was asked to rejoin Marquette to serve as interim president after Father Scott Pilarz, S.J., made the decision to resign earlier this fall. There was little question about it: If I could be of service to once again lead this wonderful university, I was very glad to say, “yes.”

Now that I am back on campus full time, I am reminded how Marquette’s faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends are advancing the university’s mission each day. I’m happy to help support and encourage their work. In doing so, I am grateful for the counsel of interim provost Dr. Margaret Callahan and the Board of Trustees, chaired by Chuck Swoboda. I am confident that Marquette is moving in the right direction.

We can be encouraged by several important projects that are under way, nearing completion or recently opened. With its brand new 40,000-square-foot expansion, the School of Dentistry is welcoming more students and providing essential oral health care to Wisconsin residents. The historic core of Sensenbrenner, Johnston and Marquette halls is being renewed and re-imagined as a vibrant center of learning and discovery. The College of Nursing’s year-old clinical simulation center has transformed nursing education and serves as a magnet for a diverse set of academic and community partners.

Our student-athletes are fortunate to be playing this fall in a new Big East Conference. After enduring the instability that has buffeted so many athletic conferences, Marquette is now aligned with nine universities that share a similar commitment to academic and personal formation of student-athletes, as well as competitive excellence.

My colleagues and I are working to implement Marquette’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries. One of the strengths of the plan was the process that involved the entire university community, which led to the plan’s approval by the Board of Trustees. That cooperative spirit has grown through the work of those who are leading efforts to achieve six major goals in areas ranging from “Pursuit of academic excellence for human well-being” to “Social responsibility and community engagement.” The structure of the plan will easily allow Marquette’s next president to integrate his or her own unique ideas.

As always, our future would not be nearly as promising without the university’s many loyal and generous supporters. In this issue, you’ll find the 2013 President’s Society Honor Roll of benefactors who made Marquette a major part of their philanthropy in the last year. To all 1,900 members of this society and for everyone who supports Marquette, I am grateful. Let me add that I am especially encouraged by the generous spirit of those recognized in a new category, one for those who have graduated in the past 15 years, the Rev. Peter A. Brooks, S.J., Level for Young Alumni.

It has been a real pleasure to see familiar Marquette friends, colleagues and students in recent days. I look forward to being on stage at the December and May Commencement exercises with students I welcomed to campus four years ago. And I appreciate the opportunity to connect with you in this familiar spot in Marquette Magazine. I look forward to the steps we will take together, moving the university forward with your faith and support. May our good and gracious God bless our students and all those associated with Marquette University.

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