Marquette Wire

Raynor answers media critics

Steve Rushin

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Speaking to host Patrick Olsen on WMUR’s “Newsmakers” program, Raynor addressed separate articles appearing in the Milwaukee Journal and the Marquette Tribune which questioned the president’s ethics in obtaining a reported $2 million from Violet Holthusen, who died in December of 1984.,”

Marquette President John P. Raynor, S.J. responded Monday to allegations concerning the recent controversy over fund-raising practices that he said he considers unfair.

Speaking to host Patrick Olsen on WMUR’s “Newsmakers” program, Raynor addressed separate articles appearing in the Milwaukee Journal and the Marquette Tribune which questioned the president’s ethics in obtaining a reported $2 million from Violet Holthusen, who died in December of 1984.

Raynor said he originally contacted Mrs. Holthusen in 1981. She was “a woman who thought highly of Marquette and she wanted to show her appreciation with a generous gift,” Raynor said.

Holthusen also was excited about the prospect of having a building on Wisconsin Avenue named for her, Raynor said.

Holthusen left the money for Marquette in her will, “and it was twice as much as I expected, so I was very pleased,” Raynor said.

The Varsity Building has since been renamed Holthusen Hall.

“I tried to do it in her lifetime,” Raynor said of the fund-raising and building dedication process.

As for the aggressive solicitation technique some of the media claimed Raynor had used on the ailing Holthusen?

“(My visiting Mrs. Holthusen) three times in four years, is hardly a rigorous campaign,” Raynor said.

Then why, Olsen asked, did the Journal and the Tribune “make such a big deal” over the incident?

Raynor said that David Foran, director of public relations, had dealt with the reporter from the Milwaukee Journal. As for the Marquette Tribune, Raynor said, “I think they reprinted a (critical) editorial from the UWM paper (about the Holthusen incident). Why? It escapes me.”

Raynor said that, outside the media, the rest of the public reaction (to the incident) has been zilch.”

Raynor then went on to explain the necessity of his fund-raising efforts.

“How do you think money is obtained by the university to keep tuition where it is?” he asked. “Someone has to get something from someone,” he said.

Olsen, who had been critical of Raynor in an opinion piece in the Tribune on the incident, asked the president whether or not his appearance on the radio program and his recent interview with the Tribune were attempts at approving relations with the students.

He said that if time and responsibilities permitted, he would “be glad to spend all my time with students.I have a proclivity to be a teacher.”

“You make it sound as if there is a gap that I have to overcome (with students),” Raynor said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.