Dear Father Wild,
It’s me, your best friend Brian. It’s been a while. Remember that day a couple years ago when we passed each other on Wisconsin Ave. and said hello? That was so us.
But enough of my nostalgia. I have a proposal I’d like you to consider as you approach the midpoint of your final year as Marquette’s president.
At the beginning of the semester, you identified academic freedom, shared governance, the LGBTQ community’s needs and Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit identity as the main areas you wanted to work on in your remaining time here. While I applaud these efforts, I worry they will keep you from another important matter — kicking back and spending quality time with students.
With this in mind, I would like to invite you to a courtly, candlelit dinner with my seven roommates and me at our house, The Mansion.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Why would I want to spend an evening with eight male seniors who can’t cook and will probably never make enough money to be future donors to this campus? And how did some moron who thinks he’s my best friend ever get a column in the Tribune?”
Just hear me out.
Your job requires you to interact frequently with people who are tied to administrative issues. But how often do you get a chance to sit down with a few regular Joes who have done absolutely nothing to warrant a meeting with you and who are simply looking for the badge of honor that comes with having you eat at their house?
My guess is not often.
In addition, although my roommates and I are all male and predominantly business students from roughly similar socioeconomic backgrounds, we offer a very diverse picture of Marquette’s student body.
Two of my roommates have red hair, one is allergic to gluten, another is almost a vegan and yet another has one of the tiniest heads I’ve ever seen. Think of all you could learn from such a sundry bunch!
This can definitely be a win-win situation. While my roommates and I get brownie points from God for hosting a priest at our house, you come off as Father Wildly Fun, a Jesuit who goes around campus to shoot the breeze and get all the latest scoops, which we will of course fill you in on.
And let’s talk about that dinner, because if I know you as I think I do, you’re a little worried about what we’ll be bringing to the table. Fortunately, we at The Mansion offer distinct culinary talents. My roommate Mike makes a stunning Italian sausage, Matt can sauté vegetables like he was born to and Bobby can cook a fish like he’s Peter or Andrew (note the Biblical reference).
You also may take comfort in knowing the The Mansion is not new to entertaining the clergy. About a month ago, Father Frank Majka, S.J. came to The Mansion for dinner. Though he was unavailable to comment on this letter, I imagine he would have said something along these lines:
“Dinner at The Mansion was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Those eight young men cooked one of the finest meals I’ve ever had, and I highly recommend they be given full tuition scholarships for their final semester at Marquette.”
This is exactly what you’re in for if you come to The Mansion — excellent food, good fellowship and a nice break from a tough job. Because while your legacy will surely be your work as Marquette’s president, you will also be remembered for the relationships you built with students.
My e-mail is below, and I’m on Facebook. Let me know when you’re free. The ball is in your court.
Your best friend,