University President Loses Cancer Battle

( – Michael Lovell, president of the Jesuit school Marquette University, died on June 10th after a lengthy cancer battle.

Michael Lovell, 57, had been fighting sarcoma since September 2021. The rare form of cancer begins in soft tissues like fat, blood vessels, and muscles. They typically cause growths that can initially be mistaken for other conditions. However, it spreads quickly, especially when left untreated.

He underwent chemotherapy shortly after the diagnosis while continuing to manage the college and its 12,000 students. He once said that he wanted to make as much of an impact on others as he could after realizing his days were numbered. That, Lovell said, is what kept him focused on his work at the university’s campus in downtown Milwaukee. The school describes itself as a “transformative, Catholic, Jesuit university.” His death was announced on June 9th.

Lovell served as the school’s president for ten years. The university’s website credits his commitment to innovation, improving the community, and entrepreneurship. He served on several boards in his area and continued teaching students at the school. His presidency was marked by his attendance at hundreds of school events every year. He and his wife were also credited with playing a significant role in raising awareness about mental health issues within their area.

Before serving as Marquette’s president, Lovell worked as the dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. He was later promoted as the school’s chancellor.

He was visiting Italy with his wife and several Jesuit associates for a pilgrimage in early June when he became very ill. He was rushed to a hospital in Rome for treatment but eventually succumbed to his cancer. Todd Adams, chair of the school’s board of trustees, announced his death to students shortly after.

Lovell said he never planned to work at Marquette University until he felt called to do so. He also traveled to Portugal to fulfill his dream of walking El Camino de Santiago.

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