MILWAUKEE — Marquette University announced Tuesday the permanent establishment of the Institute for Women's Leadership, which was initially created in 2019.
The institute was formed thanks to a $5 million endowment commitment from the Thomas J. Rolfs family. Now, it will remain on campus and function as a research institute including programming from campus and the broader community.
According to the university, the IWL was founded with the mission to advance women's leadership both locally and globally through research innovative programming, and collaborative engagement.
The institute's first director, Andrea Schneider, a professor of law at Marquette Law School, will continue to serve as the director under the new permanent status.
“This is an exciting milestone for the Institute for Women’s Leadership and the faculty and staff who have built it from the ground up over the last three years,” said Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice president for research and innovation.
Since its establishment, the IWL has created a summer research program that has supported 13 projects to date, hosted a Suffrage and Innovation 2020 conference, presented its first speaker in the IWL Pay Equity series, and more.
“The IWL has demonstrated its commitment to Marquette’s mission and values by growing research opportunities to address critical societal needs and creating an inclusive culture of innovation. The result of that commitment is a growing community of leaders and faculty, a vibrant research environment, and programming that challenges and elevates the discourse around important topics of equity and social justice," Hossenlopp said.
The institute’s leadership team also includes co-directors Dr. Jennica Webster, associate professor of management, and Dr. Debra Oswald, professor of psychology, as well as IWL coordinator Sarah Camp, and Dr. Karalee Surface, coordinator of the Women’s Innovation Network.
To celebrate all it has accomplished and its new permanent establishment, the IWL will be hosting a Spring Gala on March 8. The event is at full in-person capacity, but registration is still available online to live stream the event.
According to Marquette, the evening will honor women of strength on campus and in the community who advance women’s leadership—including students, faculty, staff, community partners, supporters, and allies.