By Gabe Wichser Contributor Published Jan 21, 2022 at 4:01 PM

Mental health has become quite the topic of conversation as of late. One might argue that more people are talking about their mental health, while others would say that more people are affected by mental health illnesses. Mike Lovell, president of Marquette University, believes it could actually be a bit of both.

In today's episode of The GoGedders Podcast, Richie Burke sits down with Mike Lovell to discuss Marquette's ten million dollar giving challenge to transform health and wellness. Along the way, they cover topics such as the mental health crisis on campus, how students can improve their mindset, Marquette's $750 million Time to Rise campaign and Lovell's new outlook on life after his recent cancer diagnosis. 


Mental health illness is something that many can relate to; according to Lovell, precisely 50 percent of all students at Marquette face these challenges. Studies post-pandemic showed that one in two students on campus are suffering from some sort of mental illness, up from one in three pre-pandemic. While this statistic is rather startling, it is not entirely surprising. Students haven't always had the opportunity to open up and talk about their mental health, and that's what Lovell is determined to change. Marquette is on a mission to raise 20 million dollars to create a safe space for students on campus to openly discuss their mental health and work towards bettering themselves. 

The process of becoming the best version of yourself isn't always a smooth ride; however, it begins with the desire to change. Lovell expressed how crucial it is that students put themselves out there and create a support system by engaging with like-minded individuals. He advised that students try three different things: "Find something you already like to do, find something you've always wanted to do and find something you never thought you would do." And with these three things, you will encourage personal growth and build a support system.

Along with a strong support system, a huge part of maintaining a healthy mindset is through exercise and reflection. Lovell mentioned he exercises and spends at least 15 on mindfulness every day, and those two things have helped him become the best version of himself. When asked about what he's doing to stay positive amidst his recent cancer diagnosis, Lovell mentioned he spends his time on the things that give him positive energy. He stated, "I want to focus on making a positive impact and doing the most with the time I have here."

Creating a positive impact is just one of the things that Marquette has planned for the future. To learn more about Marquette's mental health initiative and the other campaigns they're running, listen to the full episode here.

Gabe Wichser Contributor

Gabe is bringing you stories on Milwaukee that matter. Tune in for The GoGedders Podcast every Tuesday.