Innovation Nation: famous inventions by alumni

Marquette may be known for its basketball players and politicians, but a look at the university’s inventors reveals a lesser known rich history of success.

1. If you’ve ever had a graphing calculator, chances are they were produced from Texas Instruments, a company co-founded by Patrick Haggerty, a 1936 College of Engineering graduate.

2. Trek Bicycle Corporation was founded by Richard Burke, who graduated from the College of Business Administration in 1956. Burke started Trek in a barn in Waterloo, Wisconsin, where employees handmade steel touring bikes. Trek is now a leading bicycle producer in the global market. Lance Armstrong won his first of seven Tour de France titles on a Trek bike.

3. Marquette alum Robert Mosher invented pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening and pizza at suppertime.  Mosher graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1974, and in 1985 he created Bagel Bites with his tennis partner, Stanley Garczynski. Since then, Bagel Bites has become a staple American snack food. According to a 2016 study, 1.75 million Americans consumed five or more packs in one month.

4. When Mark Rampolla first saw coconut water, it was on the beaches of Costa Rica in the early 90s. The drink was not sold in the U.S. at the time, and Rampolla saw potential for an American market. Rampolla jump-started his company ZICO in his garage, and began selling out of his van. 

5. Devin Turner and Charlie Beckwith were Marquette seniors when they created the first mobile wireless presentation application, which allows users to give presentations from their phones and simultaneously project them onto a screen. Their company FocalCast won best IT prize at the Rice Business Plan Competition, where the founders received a funding offer from Capital Innovators.