When the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson was a freshman at Marquette, McCormick Hall was an all-male dormitory, the Alumni Memorial Union was under construction and the university president was the Rev. John Raynor. Now, almost two decades later, Hendrickson, 41, has returned to Marquette as the associate vice president in the Office of the Executive Vice President and as one of three new Jesuits hired this year.
Hendrickson, who graduated from Marquette in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in theology and psychology, began his new role as associate vice president on Aug.1. His appointment was announced in a university news brief to the Marquette community on Sept. 4.
His responsibilities as associate vice president include observing and participating in the university’s reaffirmation of accreditation process by the Higher Learning Commission, which Hendrickson said formally involves over 200 people on campus. He will also provide insight on Marquette’s recently updated emergency plan, which outlines a prepared university response to unexpected events.
His academic expertise lies in philosophy, education and theology. He said that while it depends on the needs of the university’s colleges and departments, he would like to teach in the philosophy department and has plenty of ideas for new courses.
Hendrickson, who was raised in Fremont, Neb., began his time at Marquette as a student in the fall of 1989. During this time, he held a series of jobs including working as a lifeguard at the Helfaer Recreation Center, as an operations manager at West Hall and as a resident assistant at both Schroeder Hall and O’Donnell Hall. He also acted as the layout assistant for The Marquette Tribune and the layout editor for the 1991 yearbook.
Debbie Swanson, associate director at the Department of Recreational Sports, hired Hendrickson as a lifeguard when he was a student. She said when she saw the announcement of the new associate vice president, she wondered if it was the same person who had worked for her almost 20 years ago.
Her suspicions were confirmed when she saw his picture.
“I’m glad to see he made his way back to Marquette and proud to say he worked for Rec Sports,” Swanson said.
She described him as a friendly, “down-to-earth type of guy” and as a good student. Swanson hopes to catch him working out at the Rec Center so they can catch up.
After graduating from the university in 1993, Hendrickson joined the Society of Jesus in 1994. In 2006, he was ordained a priest.
His prior teaching experience includes serving as an instructor in two high schools and three universities, including Creighton University, Fordham University and Jordan University College. He holds a master’s degree in philosophical resources from Fordham, a master’s in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology of Berkeley at Santa Clara, and both a master’s in philosophy and doctorate in philosophy of education from Columbia in N.Y.
Executive Vice President Mary DiStanislao said Hendrickson’s comprehensive understanding of the Jesuit mission and impressive educational history were all factors that made him an “immediately attractive” candidate for the job.
“The breadth of Father Hendrickson’s skill set is an asset that will allow him to be deployed in a number of projects that may present themselves this year,” DiStanislao said in an email. “We are very happy to have him aboard.”
Currently, Hendrickson lives at the Jesuit Residence. However, he says that if an opportunity presents itself, he is interested in serving as a residence hall chaplain, even in his old freshman dormitory, McCormick Hall.
“Being a resident back in McCormick?” Hendrickson said. “My (college) buddies would love it. If that happens, they have to come visit.”
Now that he is back on campus, Hendrickson said he hopes to give Marquette students the same type of mentorship he received during his undergraduate years.
“I just hope I can be as encouraging and supportive and inspirational as the faculty and the staff and the Jesuits were during my time,” Hendrickson said. “It would be terrific to be able to impact the lives of students the way I was impacted and to open up understandings of self and society in similar ways. Marquette has always been filled with tremendous mentors and wisdom figures in its faculty and the Jesuit community. So if someday, somehow I could be someone like that to someone else — that would be a great honor and privilege.”
Hendrickson will assist in presiding over the weekly 4 p.m. Sunday mass, as well as the 10 p.m. Tuesday mass.
Along with his role at Marquette, he also sits on the Board of Trustees at Xavier University and is an associate member of the Board of Trustees at Boston College.