Father Marquette Statue
Located in front of the famous Joan of Arc Chapel on Marquette campus, the Father Jacques Marquette sculpture pays tribute to the university’s namesake. Father Marquette was a 17th century French Jesuit missionary and explorer. He is particularly known for surveying and mapping the northern portion of the Mississippi River alongside French-Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet.
Backstory and Context
In 1956 Alumnus John Madden and his wife Mary offered to fund a sculpture of Marquette. The University commissioned New York-based artist Ron Knepper to create the work, which was dedicated on September 23, 2005.2 Located immediately east of St. Joan of Arc Chapel, the bronze statue portrays a mature Father Marquette. It stands eight feet two inches tall and weighs between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds. The sculpture depicts Marquette carrying a map, a nod to his explorations, and wearing a crucifix at his belt.3 During winter, Marquette students drape a Marquette scarf around the sculpture’s neck; graduating students often have their picture taken near the statue.
2 Josh Hertzog, “Marquette honors namesake with new sculpture,” On Milwaukee, September 21, 2005, https://onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/mustatue.html.
3 “Father Marquette,” Marquette University, accessed November 25, 2017, http://www.marquette.edu/sacred-spaces/father-marquette.php.