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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

All-Star Alumni

Comedian Chris Farley graduated from Marquette in 1986. Photo courtesy Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Raynor Memorial Libraries, Marquette University.

Marquette University has been home to some famous names throughout the years, including the late Chris Farley, and basketball stars Dwayne Wayde and Jimmy Butler. Including both household names and some lesser-known stars, the following is a brief snapshot into the lives of some of Marquette’s most successful.

Chris Farley

Chris Farley was a cast member of the popular show Saturday Night Live. Farley was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and studied theater and communications at Marquette University in 1986. Fr. Matt Foley, a friend of Chris Farley’s at Marquette, remembers Farley as charismatic and jovial.

Foley’s name may sound familiar seeing as Farley used his name, Matt Foley, in a famous SNL skit. However, the character itself was fashioned after one of Farley’s old football coaches, Foley says.

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Foley met Farley on the rugby field at Marquette when Foley was a sophomore and Farley was a first-year student. Foley says he remembers Farley showing up dressed in preppy style.

“He showed up in argyle shorts and a Izod collared shirt and was running around being his wonderful funny self,” Foley says.

Foley says rugby is a social sport, and parties would be held after Thursday practice. He remembers Farley’s popularity at social events, and says Farley saw his ability to make people laugh as a gift.

Pat Finn

Pat Finn, graduate of the Class of 1987, grew up in the north shore of Chicago. He knew he had wanted to attend a Jesuit school, especially since his dad went to Loyola University and was a big advocate of the Jesuit education. Finn says he decided to attend Marquette late, which led to him being placed in Schroeder Hall as a first-year student.

“It was a sophomore dorm so I met Chris Farley and Jim Murphy and my wife … it was all these fortuitous things that shaped a lot of my life, that happened just because I applied to Marquette late,” Finn says.

Finn explains how when it came time for graduation, he was told he was three credits short. Dean Michael Price called him into his office to discuss a summer course, but Finn says he couldn’t afford it. Price then asked Finn if there was anything he felt Marquette was missing and Finn answered “improv,” since that was something he loved. Price recommended that he write a paper on it, and so Finn wrote a 25 page paper about his passion for improv. Price ended up passing him and allowing him to graduate. Since his time at Marquette, Finn has starred in shows such as “The Middle” as well as movies like “I Love You, Beth Cooper” and “It’s Complicated.”

James Ford Murphy

A Marquette graduate of 1986, Jim Murphy is a writer and director for Pixar Animation Studios. He has worked on Pixar movies including “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Finding Nemo” and “Cars.” Murphy directed the 2014 short film “Lava.”

Danny Pudi

Originally from Chicago, Danny Pudi graduated from Marquette in 2001 with a degree in communication and theater.

While at Marquette, Pudi was awarded the annual Chris Farley award, which is given to someone who displays exceptional creativity and positive use of humor. During his time at Marquette, Pudi lived in Schroeder Hall and worked as a campus tour guide. After college, Pudi was accepted into the Conservatory Program of Second City, a famous improvisation group. Pudi is best known for his roles in “Community” and “Ducktales.”

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade is one of the most famous basketball names to come out of Marquette.

Wade is from Chicago. In high school, he was a successful wide receiver for the football team, but by his junior year he was starting on the varsity basketball team and soon became the star. Wade chose Marquette University to pursue his basketball career.

As a junior, Wade helped get the team to Marquette’s first Conference USA championship, as well as a Final Four appearance. Wade entered the 2003 NBA draft where he was chosen by the Miami Heat. After playing for other teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls, he ended his career with the Heat for the 2018-2019 season.

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler is a professional basketball player, currently playing for the Miami Heat. Butler grew up in Tomball, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Butler faced his fair share of struggles, as he was homeless at thirteen. Though he played basketball in high school, he did not attend Marquette immediately. He attended Tyler Junior College. It was not until 2008 that Buzz Williams, the head men’s basketball coach for Marquette offered him a spot at Marquette. Butler majored in communication studies at Marquette University. He played at Marquette as a guard and was on the team during one of Marquette’s Sweet 16 appearances and in 2011 he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls.

Jim McIlvaine

Wisconsin native Jim McIlvaine is another Marquette basketball alum. After graduating in 1994, he played for multiple NBA teams including the Washington Bullets, now known as the Washington Wizards, and the Seattle SuperSonics. When choosing a university to attend for basketball after high school, McIlvaine says he wanted to go somewhere warm. However, McIlvaine says it was Kevin O’Neill, former head coach of the Marquette Men’s Basketball team, who convinced him to come to Marquette’s basketball program, as it needed a reboot.

“Kevin (O’Neill) convinced (us) that we could get in on the ground floor and get in the turnaround program … they struggled in terms of post-season success,” McIlvaine says.

One thing that McIlvaine remembers is living in Humphrey Hall, which was a new residence hall at the time. He also says he remembers Marquette’s Jesuit values, and emphasizes that Marquette has more than its share of people who represent the school well even after they leave.

Dorothy Kamenshek 

Dorothy Kamenshek, Class of 1958, was a star player in the All-American Girls professional baseball league, and inspired the lead character in the movie “A League of Their Own.” The lead character, Dottie, was portrayed by Geena Davis.

Kamenshek was born just outside of Cincinnati. She received her physical therapy degree from Marquette University  and practiced out in California. Kamenshek was a first baseman for the Rockford Peaches of Rockford, Illinois, during which she was in the top 10 career batting leaders. Kamenshek was selected to be on seven all-star teams, and was offered a contract with a minor league men’s baseball team in Fort Lauderdale, FL, which she declined. Kamenshek retired from the game in 1953.

Rachel Lindsay

Rachel Lindsay is one of the more recently graduated well-known alumni. Lindsay appeared on the 21st season of “The Bachelor,” and was eliminated in week 9. She was then chosen to be the bachelorette for season 13 of “The Bachelorette” in 2017. Lindsay is from Dallas and received her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin. She comes from a family of lawyers, with her father, Sam A. Lindsay, being a United States district judge in Texas. Having an interest in sports law and a desire for a more intimate education, Lindsay decided to attend Marquette University Law School, graduating in 2011. She now practices at Cooper & Scully back in Dallas.

Joseph McCarthy 

Graduate of the Class of 1935, Joseph McCarthy is a famous political figure in history. McCarthy was born near Appleton, Wisconsin in 1908. He did extremely well academically, went through undergraduate and law school within five years and was elected the president of his law class at Marquette University. McCarthy received his law degree in 1935 and became the youngest circuit judge in Wisconsin at the age of 30. He ran for Senate in 1946 and won.

In 1950, it was suspected that communists had permeated the United States government. McCarthy called for an investigation and released charges which led to what is famously known as the Red Scare. He led investigations as the chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Government Operations, in which he questioned government officials. Years later, he was stripped of being the chairman as he was believed to have exceeded his authoritative ability.

This story was written by Ariana Madson. She can be reached at [email protected].

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    Brian DistanceOct 22, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Excellent article on the all-stars of Marquette alumni in the arts and entertainment fields. Great job all. Well written and a great inspirational piece @[email protected]