The Helfaer Theatre fulfilled a long-time university goal to enhance performing arts programs at Marquette. The Association of Marquette University Women (AMUW) raised funds toward the construction of a theater on campus through benefit luncheons, antique auctions, and art fairs as early as 1962, ultimately contributing upwards of $900,000 toward the building project.
Named for Evan P. Helfaer and his wife, Marion. Mr. Helfaer, a Milwaukee native whose $1.6 million gift made the building possible served as president of Lakeside Laboratories from 1932-1957 and guided the pharmaceutical firm to a position of international prominence. In total, Helfaer gave Marquette more than $4 million in support of projects such as the theatre, a campus recreation center, and equipment for two floors in the chemistry building.
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