Dr. Terry Rynne, Co-President of the Sally and Terry Rynne Foundation, returned to Marquette University to finish his doctorate in Theology in 2007, after years as a successful health care consultant. While finishing his studies, he started to discuss the role of peace centers at universities with Dr. Michael Duffey, his dissertation advisor.
After he completed his dissertation, Rynne and his wife Sally approached several universities about opening a Center for Peacemaking on their campus. They chose Marquette University as the best fit and awarded the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking a $500,000, four-year "matching" grant.
Dr. Michael Duffey recommended a former Notre Dame classmate, Rev. G. Simon Harak, S.J., as Director for the new center. Harak at that time was national coordinator for the War Resisters League, the oldest and largest secular pacifist group in the nation. After a series of interviews, Rynne, Duffey, and the Marquette community welcomed Father Harak as the first director of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking.
The new team worked for months interviewing members of the Marquette community and drafting a proposal. Then on August 27, 2007 the Center for Peacemaking was approved with an unanimous vote from the Faculty Senate and generous support from Marquette University President Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., former Provost Madeline Wake, and former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Michael McKinney.
The Marquette University Center for Peacemaking officially opened on January 15, 2008 and has been building a community dedicated to nonviolence at Marquette since its inception.
Mission and Values
The Marquette University Center for Peacemaking empowers the university and wider community to explore together the necessary skills to become informed, spiritually-centered, nonviolent peacemakers. Rooted in the Ignatian charism, the center fosters an awakening to the holistic relationship of scholarship, spirituality, nonviolent living, and the active struggle for peace and justice.
The center commits to exploring and extending the vast research on nonviolent theory and practice. Our engagement of both scholars and grass roots activists will bring forth unique insights into nonviolent praxis.
In keeping with Marquette University's understanding that faith is the foundation for one's life journey, the center promotes a faith-based approach to peace and justice work. Reflection and prayer are essential to the lives of activists.
Ignatian spirituality seeks the unique presence of God in each person and in all things. Nonviolent leadership means that we call forth, and rely on, the gifts of the community and of the Earth.
In the long Jesuit tradition of training "men and women for others," Marquette students embody their faith and learning through service work.
Each year, the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking receives a generous grant from the Sally and Terry Rynne Foundation. Their contributions make up the vast majority of our operating expenses. Their grant also allows us to continue virtually all of our programs at the center. We should add that Terry Rynne takes a very active and supportive interest in the center; his personal and professional interest is invaluable.
Each year, the center also receives a grant from William E. Szymczak of Preservation Partners Development LLC. This grant allows us to fund the students who want to spend their summers putting the principles of nonviolence into action. Each year, the students’ summer projects have grown more creative and more effective. Each year, they come back with more to offer the peacemaking community at Marquette.
It’s the generosity of so many in our community that allowed to begin and build the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking. It’s the same generosity that will enable us to grow and have Marquette University itself known as a national and international “center for peacemaking".
If you are interested in donating to the Center for Peacemaking, please visit our donation page or send your donation to the address below.
Center for Peacemaking
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881