Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences
Catherine M. Costantini, Arts '77, and
Mario R. Costantini, Arts '77
Partners for life partners in business husband and wife Mario and Cathy Costantini do what they do best together. Since 1977, that means being the perfect match as interior/furniture design entrepreneurs and local philanthropists.
Not long after meeting in a philosophy of language class at Marquette, Mario, a native of Argentina, and Cathy, from Janesville, Wis., married and began Mario Costantini Ltd., an interior design firm in Milwaukee.
In 1981, their success led them to launch La Lune Collection, a furniture manufacturing company. Many manufacturers were moving abroad, and Mario and Cathy felt strongly about creating jobs in their adopted hometown. The Riverwest location cemented their commitment to revitalizing that area of the city, which since has experienced tremendous urban renewal.
Mario and Cathy point with pride to their Milwaukee-based, eco-friendly, rustic furniture, which is found throughout the nation from Disney resorts to the homes of Oprah Winfrey and Ralph Lauren. They are equally proud of their work that supports many nonprofit organizations and causes. They co-founded the Holton Youth Center, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center and Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom program and have worked with educational institutions and nonprofit arts programs, including at Marquette University High School, St. Joan Antida High School, the Golda Meir School, the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and Next Act Theatre. The couple also recently built the new Florentine Opera Center in one of their Riverwest factory buildings.
As with everything they do together, Mario and Cathy, who have three children, share a belief that makes Marquette proud and privileged: "We have lived our lives as entrepreneurs and philanthropists in the spirit of the Jesuit mission as men and women for others and are thankful to Marquette for its inspiration and direction."
Fun facts about Mario and Cathy
Here's more about Mario — Someone (past or present) he’d like to have dinner with: All of his ancestors
Here’s more about Cathy — Her favorite place on campus to study, socialize and relax with friends: She loved the big leather chairs in the library that overlooked Wisconsin Avenue. She also spent time at the ’Lanch and enjoyed her stint as the “chick singer” with a college band that performed on occasion in the student union. For dinner, there was no better meal than at Hoy Ping’s, and the best late-night study breaks were at Grebe’s, Real Chili and the Blue Deli.