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Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell died Sunday after falling ill on a trip to Italy. Lovell had been battling sarcoma, a rare type of cancer, for three years, Marquette announced.

“President Lovell and [his wife] Amy were in Rome with members of the Society of Jesus and the Board of Trustees on a Jesuit formation pilgrimage when President Lovell fell ill and was taken to a hospital in Rome,” Marquette’s board chair and other officials announced Sunday.

Lovell, 57, had served as president of Marquette since 2014. Prior to taking over the private Catholic institution, Lovell was chancellor of crosstown University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

“President Lovell’s decade of leadership at Marquette was marked by a deep commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship, and community renewal and development—consistent with the university’s Catholic, Jesuit mission that animated him. An entrepreneur at heart, President Lovell pushed Marquette and Milwaukee to ask what could be rather than settling for the status quo,” Marquette officials wrote. “Throughout his presidency, he attended hundreds of campus events each year and continued to teach undergraduate students in his product realization class, saying that he gained great energy from his interactions with students, faculty and staff.”

UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone also released a statement honoring Lovell’s memory.

“Mike was a dear friend to many of us and had a profound influence on me. Whether it was working out with students, modeling a positive spirit, planning the next strategic partnership, or inspiring employees with a clear, strong vision for how we could better educate, conduct research, or engage in the community, Mike’s energy and enthusiasm were contagious. He was an engaged, highly effective leader who is already missed,” Mone wrote in tribute.

Provost Kimo Ah Yun will serve as acting president.