Marquette University President Michael Lovell Dies in Rome – Community Mourns the Loss of Inspirational Leader

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Marquette University President Dr. Michael Lovell passed away in Rome on Sunday after battling sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Lovell was on a Jesuit formation pilgrimage in Rome with members of the Society of Jesus and the Board of Trustees when he fell ill and was hospitalized. During his tenure at Marquette, Lovell played a significant role in creating the Near West Side Partners, a nonprofit focused on enhancing economic development, housing, neighborhood identity, and safety. Additionally, he co-founded Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM) with his wife, aiming to address generational trauma impacts.

Having joined Marquette University a decade ago, Lovell served on numerous local boards and national higher education consortiums. Prior to his time at Marquette, he held the position of chancellor at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. His passing has left a profound impact, with Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson expressing deep sympathy for the loss and acknowledging Lovell’s contributions to the community.

Governor Tony Evers also mourned the loss, highlighting Lovell’s dedication to Milwaukee and its residents, as well as his positive and professional demeanor. The Milwaukee Bucks paid tribute to Lovell’s commitment as a leader and educator, emphasizing his support for progress and innovation. UW-Milwaukee chancellor Mark Mone reflected on Lovell’s immense impact on both universities and the greater Milwaukee community, praising his dedication to improving lives through education.

Dr. John Y. Walz, president of Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), extended heartfelt condolences to the Marquette University community and Lovell’s family, emphasizing Lovell’s visionary leadership and impact on higher education. Former NBA and Marquette basketball player Travis Diener remembered Lovell as a tough, humble, passionate, and energetic leader. Other figures, such as former Marquette women’s basketball coach Megan and Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers, expressed their sadness at Lovell’s passing and honored his memory for his strength and dedication to both education and community development.

The legacy of Dr. Michael Lovell, a beloved leader in both academic and community spheres, will continue to resonate at Marquette University and beyond for years to come.