University Leader Dies After Cancer Battle

University Leader Dies After Cancer Battle

( – Doctors are expected to diagnose around two million new cases of cancer in the United States in 2024. The prognosis of cancer cases tends to vary widely, depending on the type and stage of the illness and how soon treatment starts. Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell recently passed away after a three-year battle. He was 57.

The University released a statement on X, formerly Twitter, announcing the president’s passing. His medical team diagnosed Lovell with sarcoma in 2021. Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that originates in the body’s connective tissue and bones. In many cases, physicians can treat the condition with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Lovell received chemotherapy after his diagnosis, though it’s unclear whether he was still undergoing treatment at the time of his death.

Lovell took over as Marquette University president in 2014; he was the first layperson, not a Catholic clergy, to take over the role in the school’s 133-year history. Lovell was very involved in the community and school and loved his work. He helped foster new programs, including Near West Side Partners and the Midwest Energy Research Consortium. Despite not being a clergy member, he served on several boards, including the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

Lovell was on a Jesuit formation pilgrimage in Italy when his condition became critical. He fell ill while on the trip and received hospitalization locally, where he passed away.

In a 2022 interview, Lovell said that when faced with uncertainty, “You want your days to be impactful, and you want to do things that you love.” He pushed through his illness and continued to work. He noted that some days were hard, but he persevered.

The university named Provost Kimo Ah Yun as acting president following Lovell’s death.

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