Marquette University (/mɑːrˈkɛt/) is a private Jesuit research university in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Established by the Society of Jesus as Marquette College on August 28, 1881, it was founded by John Martin Henni, the first Bishop of the diocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The university was named after 17th-century missionary and explorer Father Jacques Marquette, SJ, with the intention to provide an affordable Catholic education to the area's emerging German immigrant population.Initially an all-male institution, Marquette became the first coeducational Catholic university in the world in 1909 when it began admitting its first female students.
Marquette is part of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and currently has a student body of about 12,000. It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity". Marquette is one of the largest Jesuit universities in the United States, and the largest private university in Wisconsin.
Marquette is organized into 11 schools and colleges at its main Milwaukee campus, offering programs in the liberal arts, business, communication, education, engineering, law and various health sciences disciplines. The university also administers classes in suburbs around the Milwaukee area and in Washington, DC. While most students are pursuing undergraduate degrees, the university has over 68 doctoral and master's degree programs, a law school, a dental school (only one in the state), and 22 graduate certificate programs. The university's varsity athletic teams, known as the Golden Eagles, are members of the Big East Conference and compete in the NCAA's Division I in all sports.
Marquette University was founded 141 years ago on August 28, 1881, as Marquette College by John Martin Henni, the first Catholic bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, with the assistance of funding from Belgian businessman Guillaume Joseph DeBuey. The university was named after 17th-century missionary and explorer Father Jacques Marquette. The highest priority of the newly established college was to provide an affordable Catholic education to the area's emerging German immigrant population. The first five graduates of Marquette College received their Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1887. Between 1891 and 1906, the college employed one full-time lay professor, with many classes being taught by master's students. By 1906, Marquette had awarded 186 students the Bachelor of Arts, 38 the Master of Arts, and one student Bachelor of Science.
Marquette College officially became a university in 1907, after it became affiliated with a local medical school and moved to its present location. Johnston Hall, which now houses the university's College of Communication, was the first building erected on the new campus grounds. Marquette University High School, formerly the preparatory department of the university, became a separate institution the same year. In 1908, Marquette opened an engineering college and purchased two law schools, which would ultimately become the foundation of its current law program. Initially an all-male institution, Marquette University became the first coed Catholic university in the world, when it admitted its first female students in 1909. By 1916 its female students had increased to 375; many other Catholic institutions began adopting similar approaches in their enrollments during the 1910s and 1920s.
Marquette acquired the Wisconsin College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1913, leading to the formation of the Marquette University School of Medicine. During the 1920s and again during the post-World War II years, Marquette rapidly expanded, opening a new library, athletics facilities, classroom buildings, and residence halls. The student population increased markedly as well, met by the construction of buildings for the schools of law, business, dentistry, and the liberal arts. Marquette is credited with offering the first degree program specializing in hospital administration in the United States, and graduated the first two students in 1927. Despite the promising growth of the university, financial constraints led to the School of Medicine separating from Marquette in 1967 to become the Medical College of Wisconsin. Marquette's Golden Avalanche football team was disbanded in December 1960, and basketball became the leading spectator sport at the university.
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