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Marquette alumnus, HGTV, CNBC star donates $15 million to university's student success efforts

Lemonis Center for Student Success
Posted at 1:33 PM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 15:55:43-05

MILWAUKEE — Marcus Lemonis, the star of HGTV's The Renovator and CNBC's The Profit, Marquette University alumnus, and Camping World CEO, has donated $15 million to the school.

Marquette made the announcement Saturday, National Marquette Day, saying the money will go towards creating the Lemonis Center for Student Success. The new center will sit where Memorial Library currently is, near W. Wisconsin Avenue and 13th Street.

It will provide services for students across all majors, backgrounds, and academic abilities to enrich and expand student opportunities, according to the university. It will function as a part of the new Student Success Initiative that President Michael Lovell announced last year in his presidential address.

“It is always important for Bobbi and me to create a clear path to success for every individual, no matter where they are from or what they are studying,” Lemonis said. “As an alumnus who got the most out of my experience, it was paramount for me to highlight the things that worked and to strengthen the things that could get better. This initial gift is the start of building the road for others.”

The Lemonis Center for Student Success will connect students with a network of advisers, mentors, and resources. Marquette said it will also use innovative technology and groundbreaking research to support students as they develop skills to overcome challenges that range from mental health crises, financial setbacks, lack of connection, or academic roadblocks.

A $5 million challenge is part of the donation, which Lemonis hopes will inspire others to join him in the student success movement. He called on alumni, parents, and friends to give to the gamechanger who helped them succeed at Marquette.

Funds from the challenge will support Marquette’s Student Success Initiative, which ranges from advising to internships, career counseling, high-impact learning, first-generation initiatives, peer mentoring, and pre-orientation opportunities, Marquette University said in a press release.

“This gift is life-changing as it will help all students succeed and thrive on campus,” President Lovell said. “We are incredibly grateful to Marcus and Bobbi for their leadership and passion to help Marquette become a national leader and rise in new and innovative ways.”

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