Young Alumni of the Year Award

RyansElizabeth Warmuth Ryan, Arts ’08 and Stephen J. Ryan, Jr., Arts ’08 u 
Western Springs, Ill.

When Beth and Steve Ryan met at Marquette’s Manresa Project’s Christian Leadership Retreat just before their freshman orientation, they could not have predicted where life would take them. Today the couple has been married for 12 years, has three daughters, and runs RyTech, LLC, a digital marketing agency, with offices in Chicago and Milwaukee.

“I never imagined myself as an entrepreneur, especially when I left Marquette with a history and education major and plans for a career in public education,” recalls Steve, RyTech’s founder and CEO. Yet the Jesuit values they absorbed at Marquette remain central to their lives. As RyTech’s chief experience officer, Beth is focused on the cura personalis, or care for the whole person, and “the best ways to support our team and our clients,” she explains. They are also committed to service; Steve serves on the board of directors for Pillars Community Health and Beth is a commissioner for her local park district.

Beth has a rich Marquette legacy; her grandfather and his brother graduated in 1940 and 1936, and her parents and many aunts and uncles followed in their footsteps. In the years since Beth and Steve graduated, the Marquette alumni community has been an important source of friendship and support, including mentorship and introductions that have been important as their company grows. “I am always amazed by the willingness of MU alumni across the globe to help each other,” Steve says.

“There are so many amazing alumni of Marquette,” Beth adds, “and we consider ourselves very lucky to be part of this group.”

Fun Facts:

Name a Marquette faculty or staff member who had an impact on you.
Beth: Mary Ferwerda was my favorite Marquette staff member, especially for her work with Manresa and Christian Leadership Retreat. She was on the retreat with us when I made lifelong friends and then was able to lead the retreat as a senior (while my younger brother was an attendee). Mary’s leadership and friendship were unmatched.

Steve: My history professors — Dr. Steven Avella and Dr. Kristen Foster — taught me to develop and defend a thesis with well-thought-out arguments and plenty of support. I still use this daily.

Leave a congratulatory message for Steve and Beth!

u Celebrating a Marquette Reunion