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Marquette ranks 11th nationally in service

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Photo courtesy Jackie Downs

Everyone knows Marquette’s tenets of faith, excellence, leadership and service. But this past week, one pillar stood taller than the rest.

Newsweek, with Washington Monthly, ranked Marquette number 11 in its top 25 most service-minded schools in the U.S.

Rhodes College, Wofford College and Bryn Mawr College comprised the top three.

Rankings were determined in part by the percentage of federal work-study grant money spent on community service projects, the number of students participating in community service and hours performed, the number of full-time staff supporting community service, and academic courses that incorporate service, according to Washington Monthly’s website.

Marquette received “good marks” for Peace Corps involvement and ROTC membership, along with community service.

“It is a testimony to the work by many individuals, offices, and student organizations for many years that have contributed to Marquette’s deserved reputation as a leader in service,” said Stephanie Quade, dean of students.

Many student leaders at Marquette see the Newsweek nod as a true honor.

“I think it’s awesome and well deserved,” said Sheila Otto, president of the service organization MARDI GRAS.

The organization coordinates four service trips each year to New Orleans’ lower 9th ward, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. Students perform home improvements and various other projects.

“It’s great, the people down there have really gotten to know us,” said Otto, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Gretchen Keblusek, college buddy director of Marquette’s Best Buddies chapter, said it is an honor to be recognized as a service-oriented school and verifies their efforts in the community.

Keblusek, a junior in the College of Education, said Marquette’s chapter of Best Buddies provides a social environment for individuals with disabilities by forming friendships between them and students.

“This kind of news encourages us to keep going,” said Ali Clark, president of Students for an Environmentally Active Campus and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

SEAC hosts trail and river clean-ups and works with other student organizations to recruit and sponsor speakers, Clark said.

“Marquette believes in men and women for others, and it is good to see we are fulfilling that,” she said.

Keblusek said she hopes that receiving this recognition will not only highlight all the successful service groups already on campus, but encourage increased involvement from the administration.

Clark said she hopes Newsweek’s ranking inspires those already involved and encourages others to join the effort.

The recognition is great, Quade said, but the university will only continue to improve its efforts.

“While we are honored and humbled to be listed among so many great schools, we will continue to strive to meet the need of people in the Milwaukee community and around the country through our service,” she said.

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