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New Marquette residence hall to be named after ex-president

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The first residence hall built at Marquette University in 50 years will be named after one of its most beloved former presidents who still works on campus in fundraising.

President Michael Lovell announced earlier this month that the two-tower complex will be named in honor of the Rev. Robert A. Wild, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The naming of the residence hall is being made possible by alumni Ray and Kay Eckstein, who have challenged the university to raise another $10 million toward construction. The couple will match that $10 million once that goal is met.

“We are very happy that there will be a place at Marquette that bears his name in recognition of his many contributions revitalizing and building the campus during his presidency,” said Ray Eckstein, who founded a marine transportation company and lives in Paducah, Ky.

Wild sat in the audience during Lovell’s address and said he was surprised with the announcement.

“I’m still kind of wrapping my brain around this,” Wild said afterward.

The 76-year-old Jesuit priest jokes about what students living in the building would call it.

“If the kids call it Wild Hall, who cares?” he said. “If I were a kid, I think I would call it that. … You want people to have fun when they’re here getting a great education.”

Lovell said Marquette trustee emeritus John Bergstrom already has pledged $500,000 toward the $10 million challenge. Bergstrom will lead the campaign to raise the rest of the money.

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