As the holidays approach and the semester wraps up, we are encouraged to reflect on what we’re thankful for. I’d like to invite the Marquette community to give thanks for a tireless champion of students who is leaving Marquette at the end of this semester. After 15 years in the Office of Student Development, Dr. Jon Dooley has accepted the position of assistant vice president for student life and dean of campus life at Elon University in North Carolina. While you may not have known Jon personally, his passion for creating an inclusive, intentional community on Marquette’s campus has surely touched you in more ways than you probably know.
During Jon’s tenure at Marquette, he has impacted countless students. Jon was a driving force behind Late Night Marquette, which brought campus to life with regular activities on weekend nights. Late Night Marquette has grown from a few events (including bingo!) in the AMU into a bona fide Marquette tradition. Jon nurtured and expanded the Students Taking Active Roles program for first-year students. He shepherded the Women’s Leadership Conference and the Student Leadership Summit into the annual events they are today. Since receiving his doctorate at Marquette in 2007, Jon has made a difference in the classroom through his courses in the College of Education.
While Jon has impacted many people, perhaps the group he has shaped the most is Marquette Student Government. MUSG was probably the source of the vast majority of Jon’s headaches over the past 15 years. MUSG leaders have challenged Jon, told him he just didn’t understand and made him stay for innumerable hours at Thursday night senate meetings when he could have been at home with his family. Throughout it all, Jon would regularly remind senators, Program Board members and many MUSG presidents that they were there to serve their fellow students – to make life better at Marquette. Through his thoughtful advising, unending patience, and genuine care and concern for his students, Jon taught many young leaders at Marquette invaluable life lessons.
It was my privilege to work for Jon and to have him as my advisor through MUSG – first as a senator and later as MUSG President. I am forever thankful for my Marquette experience. Without question, Jon was the teacher who had the greatest impact on my life. Jon challenged me to go beyond what I thought I was capable of. He gave me confidence without giving me false praise. He called me out on my shortcomings in a way that let me know he thought I had more to give. Jon generously shared his time and his talent with me and with so many others. Jon did all of this without expecting a thank you.
Dr. Jon Dooley was right about one thing: it’s all about choices. Please make the choice to say thanks to a man who has devoted himself to making Marquette a better place. Thank you, Jon.
Alex Hermanny is a former president of Marquette Student Government and a 2006 alumnus of the College of Arts & Sciences.