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Marquette University celebrates 50 years of helping change lives through important program

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Posted at 6:56 AM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 09:02:12-04

MILWAUKEE — A program created during the civil rights movement 50 years ago changed thousands of lives.

Marquette University came to the table during a turbulent time in our city's history.

Tensions were high in Milwaukee 50 years ago, not only because of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., but Open Housing Marches went on for months.

In the wake of all of this, leaders at Marquette created the Educational Opportunity Program. Among its first 40 students accepted was Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

Elexus Comyne is a Milwaukee Public Schools graduate and the first in her family to go to college. "Yeah, I had the grades, but financially I wouldn't have been able to do it."

Thanks to EOP, the sophomore at Marquette has to pay only for her room and board. The biggest help to her is the community of support making campus life feel comfortable. "We can't really go back and ask our family like, 'Oh, what was this like in college?' 'What was that like?' "

More than 2,200 Marquette graduates have been part of this program.

"Yeah, I had the grades, but financially I wouldn't have been able to do it." — Elexus Comyne, a Milwaukee Public Schools graduate and the first in her family to go to college

The executive director said their goal each year is for at least half of all students in the program to have attended a Milwaukee Public School. The program has expanded its outreach to all minority populations in our city.