MILWAUKEE — Perry and Sheila Vieth, founding members of the Marquette University’s President’s Advisory Council, have committed a $1.75 million gift to establish an endowed directorship in the Marquette College of Business Administration’s Center for Real Estate. In addition, the Vieths have dedicated a portion of their gift to strengthen excellence funds within the Center for Real Estate and the college’s nationally recognized Applied Investment Management program. Perry is a 1979 College of Business Administration graduate, and Sheila earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980.
Marquette’s undergraduate commercial real estate program has historically been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Eighteen years ago, Marquette became the first of the nation’s 28 Catholic, Jesuit institutions to launch a major in real estate, and over the past 10 years the program, led by the Center for Real Estate, has a nearly 100% career placement record. The innovative Applied Investment Management program, which offers top students hands-on investment opportunities, has a 100% career placement record since 2005. Both programs are housed within the Department of Finance, which is ranked No. 22 nationally by U.S. News.
“Beyond their significant financial support, Perry and Sheila have been thoughtful, strategic partners as we continue to drive Marquette to a new level of excellence,” President Michael R. Lovell said. “This generous gift comes at the perfect time for Marquette Business as we prepare to move into our new world-class facility.”
The new home for Marquette Business and innovation leadership programs at 16th Street and Wisconsin Avenue is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The $60 million, 100,000 square-foot facility is the largest fully donor-funded construction project in university history.
“We are pleased to make this donation to Marquette’s Center for Real Estate, which offers students a unique opportunity to get applied investment experience that will jump-start their careers,” Perry and Sheila Vieth said. “Marquette’s leadership team within the College of Business is excellent, and this gift will secure the Center’s Directorship so that the real estate program continues to thrive and expand.”
The gift adds to the substantial momentum in the university’s Time to Rise comprehensive fundraising campaign. On Nov. 18, 2021, President Lovell announced that the Time to Rise campaign surpassed $500 million in funds raised toward its $750 million goal. In the three months since then, the university has raised more than $62 million. Perry and Sheila Vieth have now given a total of $3 million in Time to Rise gifts, also supporting the new College of Business Administration facility and establishing excellence funds within the Center for Real Estate and Applied Investment Management program.
“Thanks to our inspirational alumni, parents and friends, Time to Rise is galvanizing our entire university community and extending to every corner of campus and our community,” Vice President for University Advancement Tim McMahon said. “As founding members of our President’s Advisory Council, Perry and Sheila have contributed passionate, mission-driven leadership, and we truly appreciate their generosity to bolster Marquette Business and our outstanding Center for Real Estate.”
The Marquette University President’s Advisory Council (PAC) was established in 2019 and is one of the highest levels of volunteer leadership. The PAC provides counsel for university leadership and helps drive the university’s strategy forward.
Gift launches named and endowed directorship, new endowed excellence funds
In recognition of the gift, the university will establish the Vieth Directorship for the Center for Real Estate. The gift will help fund the director’s salary and serve each student by delivering deep learning experiences that help prepare them for fulfilling and successful lives. In addition, the gift will support strategic priorities, grow professional development opportunities, and enhance the center’s marketing, equipment and research. Further, the Vieths have established endowed excellence funds for both the Center for Real Estate and the Applied Investment Management program.
“Perry and Sheila are positioning Marquette Business to serve as a national leader as we continue to cultivate the region’s talent pipeline,” said Acting Keyes Dean of Business Administration Tim Hanley.
Marquette’s real estate students are connected by the Center for Real Estate with real-world cases, site tours, conferences and industry leaders, exposing them to experiences that help them gain confidence and grow as individuals ready to serve their community. The curriculum amplifies the university’s Catholic, Jesuit mission, emphasizing the importance of ethical investing. Perry Vieth has been an active member of the Center for Real Estate Advisory Board since 2018 and is a founding member of the Center’s Real Estate Asset Program Investment Committee.
“We are beyond grateful for the generosity of Perry and Sheila. Their gift will help us drive innovative and cutting-edge educational experiences in the lives of so many students for decades to come,” said Andrew Hunt, current director of the Center of Real Estate. Hunt, who was named among the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2021 40 Under 40 class, will serve as the first Vieth Director for the Center for Real Estate. Hunt also received the prestigious 2021 Developing Leaders Award from NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association) and was named the NAIOP Associate of the Year in 2022.
The Applied Investment management program was founded and is directed by Dr. David Krause. Students in the program manage $4 million in investments within the university’s endowment, gaining valuable hands-on experience. The program has produced numerous alumni working on Wall Street and in the world’s top financial hubs, working within major investment banks and investment firms.
Time to Rise: The Marquette Promise to Be The Difference
Marquette’s $750 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, which is the most ambitious in Marquette’s 140-year history, is elevating resources to advance the university’s mission and pillars of excellence, leadership, faith and service. The university has raised more than $562 million to date, amounting to 75% of its goal. More than 53,000 donors have already supported Time to Rise, including 44% of donors making their first ever gift to the university.