Thursday, January 30, 2014

15 Million Dollars, Divided By 44 Jesuits Equals $341,000.00 Per Jesuit, For New Jesuit Residence

Marquette's current "Jes Res"
A $10 million gift from an anonymous benefactor will help Marquette University build a new residence at the center of campus for its community of Jesuit priests and boost need-based scholarships for students, Father Robert A. Wild, the university's interim president, announced Monday. Wild said $7.5 million of the gift would be used toward a new Jesuit Residence one block north of the existing building.

The project, which will cost a total of $15 million, also will allow the university to renovate the center of campus with more green space and less surface parking after the existing Jesuit Residence is eventually torn down. The project will be financed entirely from donations. The new building will be built in the 1400 block of W. Wells St., flanked by the Alumni Memorial Union and Schroeder Hall. Construction is to begin after another $7.5 million is raised. The remaining $2.5 million of the anonymous gift will be dedicated to need-based scholarships, a key priority identified in the university's strategic plan unveiled last May, according to Wild, who shared the news Monday in a letter to faculty and staff. In announcing the significance of the gift, Marquette officials made reference to Pope Francis, the first Jesuit to be elected pope. The Jesuits — the Society of Jesus — are the Catholic Church's largest religious order, and are known primarily as educators and advocates for service and social justice.
"Pope Francis has led by example in remarkable ways when it comes to connecting with the people, and our new, more visible and more accessible residence at the center of campus will help us to follow this same leadership style," said Father Jeffrey LaBelle, rector of the Marquette campus Jesuit community.
Marquette's Jesuit community is engaged in public works of service to the university and additional ministries in Milwaukee, including teaching, research and administration. By remaining at the center of campus, LaBelle said, the new facility will underscore the university's identity and tradition as a Catholic, Jesuit institution, and emphasize the Jesuit commitment to higher education. It also will be environmentally friendly, he said. "This significant gift is a tremendous investment in the future of our members of the Society of Jesus who make such profound academic and spiritual contributions to life at Marquette," Wild said. 
Equally as important, Wild said, "this generous contribution to support scholarships will help us to continue to provide a world-class, transformative education that is both accessible and affordable."
Throughout his 15-year tenure as Marquette's president, and now as interim president, Wild has stressed the importance of access to higher education, significantly increasing money for student scholarship aid and creating scholarship programs specifically targeted at underserved populations. The $2.5 million dedicated to need-based scholarship aid will help ensure a Marquette education remains affordable and accessible to students, according to Wild, who has been the university's interim president since October but who had plenty of experience in the job prior to that. Marquette's current Jesuit Residence, endearingly known by students, faculty and staff as the "Jes Res," is in the 1400 block of W. Wisconsin Ave., across the street from Raynor Memorial Libraries. It houses 44 members of the Jesuit community at Marquette and was built originally as the Stratford Arms Hotel in 1916.
Link (here) to The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal

2 comments:

Survivor said...

For those who need insight into what $341,000 can get you in Milwaukee:

http://www.trulia.com/for_sale/Milwaukee,WI/300000-350000_price/

FWIW, that's how much my three bedroom / 2 1/2 bath house outside of Washington, DC cost my family of three.

Midori said...

The title of your post is rather cheeky -- as it implies an extravagance of funds per Jesuit. But remember, the building will over the course of its existence house far more than just 44 Jesuits. It may in the end be an prudential use of funds for it not only houses generations of Jesuits, but provides a cornerstone for the neighborhood -- which has always been valuable in Milwaukee's downtown area.