Marquette campus in the spring.

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Mary Jo and Steve Hazard

Troubled by violence in our world, Mary Jo and Steve Hazard committed part of their estate toward Marquette’s Center for Peacemaking. Founded by their friend Dr. Terrence Rynne ten years ago, the center empowers students to serve as informed, spiritually centered, nonviolent peacemakers in whatever careers they pursue.

“The center teaches simple, practical conflict resolution skills to university students and kids in local public and Catholic schools,” Mary Jo said. “It is reaching impressionable young people, showing alternatives to violence and shaping resilient peacemakers.”

At the center, faculty research and document effective peacemaking strategies while student interns engage in troubled parts of the world, learning and teaching how to build peace and prevent violence.

“Supporting the center is our way of advancing the work of Jesus and the Church,” Steve explained. “We’ve heard from many students how their fire has been lit by experiences through the center.”

Mary Jo recalls how a class of fifth graders participating in the center’s Peace Works program “told us their favorite topics were empathy and forgiveness. It was amazing to hear!”

The Hazards hope their planned gift enables systemic change as the center forms lifelong peacemakers and engages with other organizations to:

  • Explore non-violence through student experiences. 
  • Educate through classroom learning and research. 
  • Empower community programming, like Peace Works.

“Not to share our resources beyond our family wouldn’t fit with how we’ve tried to live life. We give back out of a spirit of gratitude,” Steve and Mary Jo added.


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