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Marquette Univ. College of Communication receives $8.3 million gift

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — A Minneapolis couple donated $8.3 million to the Marquette University J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication.

Peter and Patricia Frechette, of Minneapolis, made the gift in honor of Patricia’s parents, Perry and Alicia O’Brien. Perry and Alicia graduated from Marquette in 1936 and 1935, with degrees in journalism and liberal arts.

The couple designated the gift toward the launch of “The Perry and Alicia O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism.” Patricia’s father, Perry, was a longtime reporter with the Janesville Gazette and WCLO-AM radio in the 1940s and 1950s.

The new fellowship, which will begin in fall 2013, will bring three journalists from all types of media to Marquette for each academic year. During this time, the journalists will research and produce an in-depth public service journalism project.