The Honorable Les Aspin
Les Aspin, who committed his life to public service and rigorous intellectual discourse, began and ended his career at Marquette.
A Milwaukee native born in 1938, he graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, received his master's degree in economics, politics and philosophy from Oxford University, and completed a doctorate in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then served as an assistant professor of economics at Marquette from 1969–71 before beginning his political career.
Aspin won election to the U.S. House of Representatives 11 times from Wisconsin's First Congressional District. In more than two decades of service in the House, he was dedicated to the needs of his constituents and exercised influence on U.S. international security policy. He did both to a degree seldom seen in one congressional career. He was secretary of defense from 1993–94, establishing the central strategy that guided the development of defense policy in succeeding years.
It was Aspin's return to Marquette in 1994 as a distinguished professor of international policy that pushed the Center for Government off the drawing board and into reality. Upon his death in 1995, Marquette renamed the center in his honor, recognizing Aspin's contributions as a public servant and his intellectual acuity and commitment to educating leaders in government.