Marquette University President Robert A. Wild, S.J., is the 2008 recipient of the Chief Executive Leadership Award for Region V of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Region V includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Wild will receive his award at the region’s annual meeting in Chicago Dec. 14.
“This exceptional recognition is extended by CASE V to university presidents who have provided sustained and successful leadership and vision to their institutions,” Kathy Bickel, vice president of the Ohio State University Alumni Association, Inc., and a CASE V trustee, wrote in her letter of notification.
The annual award, created by CASE in 1999, honors leaders for advancing their campuses by “establishing positive images of the institutions, increasing their institutions’ stature within the community, cultivating private support and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship among employees, especially those in the advancement profession.”
Wild was nominated by Mary Ellen Stanek, chair of the Marquette Board of Trustees and managing director and director of asset management at Robert W. Baird & Company; Stan Jaskolski, Opus Dean of the Marquette College of Engineering; and William Thorn, chair of the University Academic Senate and chair of the Department of Journalism in the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication.
In her letter of nomination, Stanek said Wild had “crafted a vision for the future that is fast becoming a reality, and he has positioned the university well for the demands of our changing world.” She cited the physical transformation of the campus since 2000, including a new library, new state-of-the-art facility for the School of Dentistry, the Al McGuire Center and construction for two major campus additions now underway Eckstein Hall, the new Law School building, and Zilber Hall, a new student services/administration building.
Jaskolski noted Wild’s strong support for his efforts to transform engineering education, including planned construction of a $100 million Discovery Learning Complex. “Father Wild’s leadership and enthusiasm for connecting a donor’s passion to a specific project have yielded extraordinary results,” he said, noting three eight-figure gifts to engineering, as well as other significant gifts for the Law School construction, endowed faculty chairs and student scholarships.
Thorn praised Wild for supporting a new shared governance model, for celebrating faculty achievement, for his “absolute support of academic freedom,” and for his accessibility.
Wild has served as president of Marquette since 1996, overseeing the growth of the university’s fund raising from $16.8 million annually to more than $100 million in each of the last two years. During his tenure, undergraduate applications increased from 5,300 in 1996 to more than 15,000 in 2008, while increasing the academic qualifications of incoming students. Wild led the transformation of the Marquette campus through more than $200 million of new construction and renovation, projects which contributed to the economic revitalization of the university’s near west side neighborhood.
Prior to being named Marquette president, Wild was president of the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., and served as provincial superior for the Chicago province of the Society of Jesus. With a Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard University, Wild has served on the theology faculties of Loyola University Chicago, Pontificio Istituto Biblico in Rome, and Marquette.
Wild serves on the board of directors of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, the Big East Conference, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He is also a trustee of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and the University of Detroit Mercy.