Before the dozens in attendance at Thursday's President's Breakfast opened their mouths to a delectable brunch courtesy of Joanne Ilitch and Ellis Island Catering, Most Reverend Bishop Donald J. Hying implored the hundreds at St. Mary's to open their hearts.
As part of his Welcome Mass, Bishop Hying's sermon called upon us to use our talents and open our hearts to Jesus Christ. His message was a fitting harbinger leading into the President's Breakfast held inside the Richard & Louise Scholl Student Center's Global Trading Lab shortly thereafter.
President White touched upon the innovation, vision, and expansion that has occurred at Marquette since his arrival in 2007. The student population has swelled from 151 to its current mark of 262. The establishment of the Marquette Foreign Exchange Company has played a significant role in not just an increase in enrollment, but in countries represented on 10th Street. An international presence has also enhanced the educational experience of domestic students.
An inherited debt of over $1 million has vanished. The campus has expanded. Existing buildings have been fortified. In short, Marquette has become the flagship school for others to follow.
Senior Morgan Crook took the dais and delivered a testament to the opportunities afforded to her through Marquette's programming. She cited how a myriad of service retreats have shaped her worldview. The class president also discussed her anticipation of next spring's educational travel opportunity to explore Italy and Greece - a chance she said wouldn't exist without the school's coordination.
Tricia Sakich, whose son and daughter are both seniors, followed with a moving endorsement on the values instilled in her children by Marquette. She also paid homage to the Global Trading Lab and the business studies program, an educational opportunity that she says gives Marquette students a leg up on their peers not only in college but eventually in the professional workforce.
Principal Allyson Headd concluded the speaking portion of the Breakfast by sharing her personal journey. The ink was still damp on her Saint Mary's College diploma when Marquette hired her as a full-time teacher and "den mother." Living in a property in Long Beach, Headd oversaw six girls enrolled in the international program. Fast forward just a few years and she has since taken the reins as principal and the international program now consists of over three dozen boys and girls. Her swift rise is a microcosm of Marquette's.
With the morning's events in the books, President White promptly departed the Global Trading Lab and met with local media to discuss the school's latest service endeavor: a partnership with Habitat for Humanity that will result in a home built on land donated by the school. The work never stops.
Heeding Bishop Hying's advice, Marquette continues to keep its heart open to the community.