Alumni National Awards


GutierrezLaura E. Gutierrez, Grad ’01
Wind Lake, Wis.

Laura Gutierrez learned for herself that there’s truly no place like home. The Milwaukee native is the executive director at the United Community Center in Milwaukee, where she leads a team in giving back to the community through education, arts, recreation, community, health, and even human services. She’s proud to invest in the community that invested in her as a little girl.

She always takes an opportunity to pay it forward. As an educator at heart, Laura “knows learning never ends.” Laura mentors young professionals, helping them find solutions to problems they face. She encourages them to take risks and advocate for themselves. She leads by example, letting her confidence shine through her work. She knows young professionals and kids alike look up to her as she’s the first Hispanic woman to lead UCC; she knows how important it is for those young people to see someone who looks like them be successful. Her drive to help others plays into a bigger plan. “God puts you in positions where your abilities will enhance or empower others,” she says.

Laura found success by better understanding herself; once she got to know herself, she was able to play upon her strengths and weaknesses to serve the greater good. “I valued going to a school with strong academics, guided by faith, and one which embodied the idea of servant leadership. Marquette is all of those … plus it was close to home, which was important for to me,” she says.

Name someone (past or present) with whom you'd like to have dinner.
I would say Margaret Thatcher. She was a trailblazer and overcame so many challenges with grace. Being the first female to lead Great Britain, facing skeptics, making the tough decisions — I’d want to pick her brain. What kept her going? What was her thought process around different decisions? You could learn so much from her experience.

What is one of your favorite Marquette memories?
Presenting my portfolio sticks out in my mind. I was nervous, but Dr. Sharon Chubbuck helped calm me down and give me the confidence boost I needed. She let me know she would be there to support me every step of the way!

Leave a congratulatory message for Laura!