Stanislaus P. Lalumiere, S.J. – President, 1887-1889
History records Archbishop John Martin Henni as the official founder of Marquette University. But because Father Stanislaus Lalumiere secured the college charter in 1864, many regard him as the forefather of Marquette. Preceding his distinguished history at Marquette, he studied law and was admitted to the Illinois bar with Abraham Lincoln as one of his examiners. Father Lalumiere and President Lincoln became close friends and shared a career path that began with law and peaked with a presidency. Marquette’s language arts building, Lalumiere Hall, is named in his honor.
Alexander J. Burrowes, S.J. – President, 1900-1908
If Father Alexander Burrowes were alive today, his resume would list presidencies at several prominent Jesuit universities and colleges, including St. Xavier College, St. Louis University and St. Ignatius College, which was chartered as Loyola University of Chicago during his term in office. But what makes him celebrated on the Marquette campus was his ability to elevate the college to a new level. During his leadership, Marquette College became Marquette University; the College of Engineering was planned; affiliations with a medical college, dental and nursing schools and also a law school were initiated; athletics were encouraged; varsity letter awards were instituted; and the move to a new campus and construction of Johnston Hall took place.
James McCabe, S.J. – President, 1908-1911
Some might say that Father James McCabe was ahead of the times. He made the decision to admit women undergraduates in 1909—just one year into his presidency—making Marquette the first Catholic university in the world to do so. Of course this decision challenged a long-held tradition of the Catholic Church, but ultimately, this change was approved and classrooms were transformed forever. During the Centennial Celebration of Women at Marquette, the university renamed its newly remodeled residence hall McCabe Hall in his honor.
Peter A. Brooks, S.J. – President, 1944-1948
Twenty-three years after graduating from Marquette with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts & Sciences, Father Peter Brooks returned to lead his alma mater as the university’s new president. He made his mark on the school as a student and leader. During his undergrad years, he realized the need for a central meeting place for Marquette students and in 1924 he helped establish a student union. When that space was replaced in 1953, it was named after Father Brooks—the Brooks Memorial Union. During his presidency, Father Brooks established the university’s endowment fund and settled an outstanding debt of $2 million.