Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication receives $3.5 million gift

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication today announced it has received a $3.5 million gift from the Bernice Shanke Greiveldinger Charitable Trust to fund capital improvement projects in the college’s Johnston Hall. This is the trust’s second gift to the university this year. In July, the Greiveldinger Trust donated $1 million toward the construction of Marquette’s new Jesuit Residence.

Johnston Hall, which has been the college’s home for more than 100 years, is Marquette’s oldest building and part of the university’s Historic Core, which also comprises Marquette and Sensenbrenner halls.

“Significant renovations are needed to put the college on a pace to lead young journalists and media professionals for years to come,” said Geoffrey Greiveldinger, trustee of the Greiveldinger Charitable Trust. As early examples, he cites a build-out of a “creative content” suite on the building’s second level, as well as revamped space for participants in the college’s prestigious O’Brien Fellowship program.

“The foundational work of the O’Brien Fellowship was instrumental in the Greiveldinger Trust’s decision to make this gift,” Greiveldinger said. “That program represents a vision on the part of the college that augured so well for the future achievements of the Diederich College of Communication.”

“Through this generous gift, we will redefine space within our historic home to provide advanced technology and a more collaborative environment so that we may deliver the best, most relevant communication education to our students across all disciplines,” said Dr. Lori Bergen, dean of the Diederich College of Communication. “The Greiveldinger Trust has honored us with this opportunity, and on behalf of the entire college I want to thank Geoffrey and his family.”

According to Bergen, phased renovations will start in January 2015 and run through August 2018 – she added that faculty, student and staff input will be important to shaping the vision for the new space.

The Greiveldinger Trust gift capitalizes on the college’s significant philanthropic activity over the past decade, including J. William and Mary Diederich’s $28 million legacy gift in 2005, and an $8.3 million donation in 2013 from Peter and Patricia Frechette to establish the Perry and Alicia O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism.