Jacqueline Walker, former EOP financial aid counselor, passes away

Jacqueline Walker receives Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award. Photo courtesy of Marquette Today.

Jacqueline Walker receives Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award. Photo courtesy of Marquette Today.

Marquette University is mourning the loss of Jacqueline Walker, former Educational Opportunities Program financial aid counselor, after over 35 years at the university, according to a Marquette Today news release.

Walker dedicated 25 of her years at this institution to EOP, which “is an academic program that motivates and enables low-income and first generation students whose parents do not have a baccalaureate degree to enter and succeed in higher education,” according to the program’s website.

According to the news release, Walker was a caring and welcoming presence at Marquette, filled with compassion and energy.

“She was more than a financial aid counselor to countless students,” the news release said. “She was an advocate, working tirelessly to award financial aid packages to students so that they would be able to continue their studies at Marquette.”

In 2019, Walker received the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award, which recognizes faculty and staff members at Marquette who embody diversity, equity, and inclusion through their actions, according to the award’s website

Walker was nominated by several colleagues who described her as powerful, caring and long overdue for the award, according to last year’s Marquette Today news release about the award.

“Jacqueline Walker is one of the unsung heroines at Marquette and exemplifies on a daily basis a welcoming and caring spirit for all of those who cross her pathway,” one nominator wrote. “She is full of boundless energy, compassion and positivity, and is there as a guide to help her students get to graduation day and beyond.”

Another nominator compared  her to a glowing fire, warming her office and embracing all who entered.

When she received the award, Walker said that her philosophy on diversity and inclusion revolves around embracing the unique experiences of each student.

“In my role with the Educational Opportunity Program, I have been fortunate to work with and assist many students and families with understanding the financial aid process necessary to enter and graduate Marquette University,” Walker said in last year’s news release.

Walker retired in March of this year.

According to the June 24 news release, a virtual prayer vigil will be held on Thursday, June 25, 6 p.m. Those wishing to attend should contact Michelle Barbeyto, office associate for EOP, to be sent the link to join.

Additionally, the news release said that a balloon release outside of Coughlin Hall will take place June 27, 3 p.m., and that all attendees must wear a mask.

This story was written by Shir Bloch. She can be reached at [email protected].