Spirit of Marquette Award (achievement before age 40)

McCostlinElizabeth Feste McCostlin, Arts ’06 and Adam M. McCostlin, Bus Ad ’06
Evanston, Ill.

Today, Adam and Beth McCostlin credit Marquette for igniting their passion to make a difference and equipping them both with the determination to "go forth and set the world on fire." Neither of them can imagine having chosen a different academic path. But as teens preparing to submit college applications, Marquette hadn't been on either of their radars.

"My mom recommended Marquette," says Adam. "As I looked at making decisions for college and beyond, something about the big city experience really drew me in. It exposed me to things that I had not experienced. When I visited Marquette, it clicked."

Beth felt a similar pull when she made the decision to attend Marquette. "My parents and my grandmother helped nudge me towards Marquette and I'll always be grateful," she says. "There is no doubt that it was exactly where I needed to be."

Both Adam and Beth felt emboldened by Marquette's mission of excellence, faith, leadership, and service. It fueled their common desire to make the world a better place, close to home and around the world. Their commitment to influencing positive change began as students, extended to their respective careers, and is evident in their roles as parents and in their parish today.

Beth recalls one of her most impactful University experiences as joining a group of students and Dr. Lawrence LeBlanc for a summer course in New York City at the United Nations. "[It was] so formative in exploring global impact," she says. On that trip, she picked up a poster depicting the Norman Rockwell-inspired mosaic The Golden Rule, which still hangs in her office today. "For me, this image has been my calling, always," said Beth. "From my time at Marquette, to my military service, to my work at UNICEF, to the small ways I try to serve in my community, to how I love and shape our kids."

Similarly, many of Adam's Marquette experiences stayed with him long past graduation. "All the opportunities to get involved in organizations and service projects at Marquette were life-changing for me," he says. His involvement opened his eyes to the fact that life can be messy. "I realized everyone is fighting a battle, and none of them are the same. We need to be the change we want to see. It's on us."

Today, Adam is a managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate services firm where he is a broker for commercial office and industrial clients. He tackles complex problems for clients searching for solutions in the post-COVID-19 world, where he believes we've reached an inflection point in how people live and work.

Beth is a managing director at UNICEF USA, where she works closely with volunteers and supporters to mobilize philanthropy and advocacy support for UNICEF's work to relentlessly pursue a better world for every child.

She previously worked in development for The Joffrey Ballet, and she is a US Army Reserve veteran who spent a year in Baghdad, Iraq.

Adam and Beth both serve as members of the Marquette President's Advisory Council. They are also actively involved in their parish, where Adam has engaged in the Archdiocese of Chicago's "Renew My Parish" efforts and Beth teaches Sunday school. Receiving the Spirit of Marquette Award motivates them to continue living their lives in service to others.

"I'm incredibly honored, humbled, grateful," says Beth. "Marquette is in my heart and bones, and I feel very lucky that I continue to have the opportunity to be involved and contribute."

Adam echoes her sentiment. "To be recognized for this award is humbling and inspirational," he says. "It is a reminder to continue my best to live a life that would be deemed a success through the lens of Marquette's mission."

  • As a sophomore, Adam camped outside all night to get a seat to watch Dwyane Wade lead the Golden Eagles to their first Conference USA championship. "We were outside the Bradley Center from 10:00 p.m. until the gates opened around 10:00 a.m. the next day. It was cold but very, very worth it!"
  • She wouldn't have said so at the time, but now one of Beth's favorite Marquette memories is of ROTC PT workouts in the old gym. "Sergeant First Class Tuten spent a ton of time helping us train and prepare. I still think of him all the time when I'm in the middle of something tough and I'm not sure I can make it through!"

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