Friday, January 05, 2007

Marquette Folks Among Milwaukee Legends

An e-mail from the public relations folks at Marquette brings to our attention an online poll from the Milwaukee Press Club about “Legends of Milwaukee.”

The e-mail makes some suggestions as to how one might vote.
Help recognize Marquette’s role in Milwaukee history by voting for local legends as part of the celebration of the city’s birthday.

The Milwaukee Press Club has produced a list of candidates who were either born in Milwaukee or “made their mark” in the city. The public is invited to vote for their favorites from among the 99 entries. Selections will be celebrated at the 161st Birthday Party for the City of Milwaukee on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the Milwaukee Public Museum, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

“Legends” listed with Marquette University connections include:
  • Les Aspin (U.S. Congressman and the inspiration for Marquette’s Les Aspin Center for Government)
  • Chris Farley (Marquette University alumnus, best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live”)
  • Jacques Marquette (17th-century French, Jesuit missionary-explorer, Marquette’s namesake and considered the co-founder of Milwaukee)
  • Al McGuire (Marquette’s legendary men’s basketball coach from 1964 to 1977, when Marquette won the NCAA championship in his final game as coach)
  • George Reedy (Lucius Nieman Chair and professor of journalism at Marquette from 1972 to 1991; press secretary to President Lyndon Johnson)
OK, the PR people are trying to “get out the vote” just as they did with a previous poll on the “best place to work in Milwaukee.” Nothing particularly wrong with that. The people who organize these polls want nothing so much as the publicity that will drive up the vote totals.

We aren’t inclined to go with the whole ticket. Les Aspin, for example, seems rather overshadowed by other figures on the list of “government people,” and it’s hard to know how well Chris Farley will eventually stack up against figures from previous generations. It would be hard to vote for him over Spencer Tracy.

But we are certainly going to vote for Jacques Marquette (did he really have a “Marquette connection?”) and for Al McGuire and for George Reedy.


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