Rise with us! Click here to learn more about Time to Rise: The Marquette Promise to Be The Difference.


Alumni National Awards



Nachreiner_Mary Power Nachreiner, PT ’79
Sauk City, Wis.

Twenty years ago, a family tragedy changed Mary’s career path and opened her eyes to the importance of organ donation. Today, as Community Outreach Coordinator at University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation, she is dedicating her life to educating the public about the importance of registering as a donor and offering hope to those awaiting a transplant.

Mary became passionate about organ donation when her 16-year-old daughter, Kelly, chose to be a donor when getting her driver's license. Four weeks later, Kelly was tragically killed in a car accident. “Thanks to her decision to donate, Kelly saved the lives of three strangers,” she says.

Soon after, Mary left her successful PT practice and joined UW Organ and Tissue Donation. “I wanted to help encourage all Wisconsinites to give to those who are desperately waiting for an organ. Plus, it allows me to share Kelly and still be her mom,” she says.

For Mary, the love of family, friends and her faith gave her the strength to survive the loss of her child. “They allowed me to focus on the many blessings bestowed upon us. Success is being able to engage in a passion that impacts others in a positive manner. This is how I’ve found contentment, which I hope for all,” she says.

Humbled and grateful to receive the Service Award, Mary says it is really for her daughter. “Kelly is the reason I started on this journey. To find a passion and purpose through tragedy is her gift to me,” she says.

Fun Fact:

Mary’s favorite memory of her Marquette years was the 1977 NCAA Championship and running down the middle of Wisconsin Avenue all the way to the lake, with the city side streets blocked by police to keep the students safe.