Marquette University to host October events to honor alumnus James Foley

Journalist James Foley, graduated from Marquette University in 1996.

Journalist James Foley, graduated from Marquette University in 1996.

BY ISN STAFF | September 15, 2015

MILWAUKEE, WI – Marquette University will host three events in mid-October to honor alumnus James Foley. A 1996 graduate of Marquette’s Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, Foley was kidnapped in Syria and later murdered by Islamic State militants while on assignment as a reporter covering the region.

John and Diane Foley, James’ parents, will begin the events with a Mass of Remembrance on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. in the Church of the Gesu. The Mass will include a blessing of a painting of Foley, which was created during Marquette University’s Mission Week in February 2015.

The events will culminate with a Rosary for Peace on Oct. 18, which would have been Foley’s 42ndbirthday. Foley prayed the rosary on his knuckles while in captivity, and Marquette University is inviting schools, parishes and organizations across the country and world to participate.

The Marquette community has also invited students, faculty and staff to take part in a virtual 5K, which will be led by the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation on Saturday, Oct. 17.

In August, Marquette University announced its first-ever James Foley Scholarship recipient on the one-year anniversary of Foley’s tragic death. Jacob Zelinski, who just began his freshman year at Marquette, graduated this spring from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy.  Zelinski recently published a first-person account of what it means to honor the legacy of James Foley as the first scholarship recipient. His story is titled, “Why James Foley is my hero.” Zelinski plans to major in theatre arts and digital media at Marquette. Marquette received an outpouring of support in the wake of Foley’s death, with 1,373 donors from around the world contributing more than $320,000 to the James Foley Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Media from around the world reached out to Marquette University after Foley’s death on Aug. 19, 2014. The university dedicated a web page in his memory, which includes a moving letter from Foley to the Marquette community when he was first captured and held in a military detention center in Tripoli, Libya. In the letter, Foley started by writing, “Marquette University has always been a friend to me. The kind who challenges you to do more and be better and ultimately shapes who you become.”

Jesuit colleges and universities across the country commemorated Foley’s with masses and prayer services on his 41st birthday, which would have been celebrated on October 18, 2014.

“James Foley embodied so many of our Jesuit, Catholic ideals and today marks a day that we can all be proud to shine a positive light on his remarkable legacy,” Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell said. “James was a man for others who sought the truth in everything he encountered, and he and his family and friends will always be members of our Marquette family.”

[SOURCES for this story included Marquette University]


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