By Dr. Bill Henk, Dean,
College of Education.

Students represent the lifeblood of any great university, and Marquette is no exception. They are our essential reason for being.

Unfortunately, in these challenging economic times, many of our remarkable MU students face the prospect of delaying or terminating their education here. Sad to say, they simply don’t have the resources to continue. That’s why I think scholarship aid isn’t merely important nowadays at Marquette; it’s absolutely VITAL.

As an academic dean, I’m seeing this tragedy play out almost daily. More and more of our students tell their advisors that they just can’t make their finances work. Their emotions go well beyond disappointment. They love Marquette and the education they’re receiving here, and the harsh reality of parting with their dreams and aspirations devastates them and their families.

I’m extremely proud to report that the university has gone to extraordinary lengths to sustain these students. But the need now outstrips what we can hope to provide by a notable margin. As a result, their future now hangs tenuously in the balance.

That’s the main reason I give as abundantly as I can to support student scholarships. I think about the contributions that these promising young leaders will make to the world with a little sacrificing on my part, and the decision becomes easy. It’s even more compelling when I reflect with great grief on all the ways that society will be diminished if these talented, passionate students don’t achieve their promise.

The other major motivation for me to give is that I’ve been the beneficiary of significant scholarship support myself. And, although it will sound like a cliché, I would definitely not be where I am today without it. My family’s financial situation would NEVER have permitted me to go to college. But thanks to many wonderful donors I enjoyed full tuition and other critical support not only as an undergraduate student athlete, but also as a Master’s degree student, and then again, as a doctoral fellow.

May God bless all of the caring and benevolent people who helped me. As I see it, the least I can do is to pay the debt forward, and I do so willingly and joyfully.

To sum up, I would say to anyone compassionate and forward thinking enough to consider donating to scholarship aid – PLEASE JUST DO IT! Yours will be a gift that keeps on giving, perhaps for all eternity.