The Founders Society celebrates the remarkable generosity of individuals and organizations whose lifetime giving commitment to Marquette - including planned gifts - has reached or exceeded $1 million. It honors their profound impact on Marquette and our students as part of an extraordinary group — reflective of Marquette’s earliest benefactors, who, in the mid–1800s, supported Marquette Founder Archbishop John Martin Henni’s mission to build a Catholic and Jesuit university that develops men and women for others.

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Archbishop Henni - Marquette's Founder

Visionary Philanthropy

Archbishop John Martin Henni (1805–81) was a prolific fundraiser named archbishop of Milwaukee in 1844. With mostly German-speaking Catholic immigrants settling in Wisconsin, he saw a need for a Catholic, Jesuit college.

After failing by a small margin to open such a college in 1850 — the potential investors were suddenly summoned back to Europe — it took Archbishop Henni and the Jesuits another 30 years to open the doors of the new school, Marquette College, in 1881.

Learn about Marquette's Giving Societies.