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Dr. Ethel Jones, faculty athletics representative for South Carolina State University, presents the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award to Frank and Mary Marshall during the MEAC Basketball Tournament on March 10 in Norfolk, Va.

  Frank & Mary Marshall Named Distinguished MEAC Alumni

James F. and Mary J. Marshall, one of DSU’s strongest supporting alumni couples, have been honored as the institution’s co-representatives of the 2016 class of Distinguished Alumni of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

The couple was recognized along with alumni of other conference schools at the Scopes Arena in Norfolk, Va. on March 10 during the MEAC Basketball Tournament.

Frank and Mary Marshall, shown at a DSC Reception at the MEAC Tourney, are a fixture at many DSU athletics and cultural events.

The Marshalls have consistently shown their genuine love Delaware State University by diligently working to help further their alma mater’s mission to graduate first-rate students and advance the prominence of the institution.

Frank (as James is known by all) and Mary are natives of West Virginia. There they met at Bluefield State College in the Mountaineer State, where they began their post-secondary education.

Soon after their marriage in 1955, the Marshalls moved to Dover, Delaware, where Frank secured employment at Dover Air Force Base as a hydraulic systems mechanic. During his 35-year tenure at the base, he was promoted to air freight specialist and later became the real property officer for the entire base. Frank also had “side employment” as a real estate agent for Zartman and Nate Cohen Realty companies.

Along the way, the Marshalls became proud Del State graduates. Frank graduated in 1962 with a degree in Biology, while Mary earned her degree in Sociology in 1975. She was recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities in 1974-75 for her outstanding achievements at Delaware State.

Throughout their years in Dover, the couple has taken an active role in the community. Frank was elected to the Capital School District Board of Education in 1972 and served as board president in 1978 and ’79. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Frank was a driving force in the establishment of Dover’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Breakfast.

He has also served as a Habitat for Humanity board member, and has given his time and efforts to the William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Foundation. Among his many honors are Businessman of the Year by Omega Psi Phi fraternity, a Certificate of Appreciation by Alpha Phi Alpha and the Sofar Award.

In addition to maintaining the Marshall home and providing unwavering support of Frank’s endeavors, Mary worked for a time with the Delaware Human Relations Commission. She also ran the family-owned businesses, M & M’s Custom Upholstery, and Antiques, Arts and Collectibles.

The couple has been members of Dover’s Whatcoat United Methodist Church for more than 50 years.

The Marshalls’ long-standing commitment to their alma mater is immeasurable. As lifetime members of the DSU Alumni Association, they have taken seriously the role alumni play to ensure the success and prominence of DSU. Through the years, they have attended numerous Delaware State activities, encouraged young people under their tutelage to attend the institution and generously provided financial support to the school.

In 1985, Frank and Mary became charter members of the reactivated Delaware State College Athletic Booster Club. The highlight of their booster club service was their leading role in the group’s donation of a $50,000 scholarship for Hornet student-athletes.

In addition, the Marshalls have established a personal endowed scholarship under the DSU Foundation.

In 2000, as a result of their tireless dedication to the University, the DSU Alumni Association presented Frank and Mary with the Bridge Builders Award for their love and contributions to DSU as an alumni couple.

In 2008, they were bestowed the honor of serving as “Grand Marshalls” for the DSU Homecoming parade and festivities.

The Marshalls are most proud of their children, Penny, James Jr., Bruce and Kevin; and adopted daughter Alexis Jordan.

The Marshalls have made it a priority of their lives to dedicate their love, time, talents and resources to the school that provided them with a first-rate education. They fully understand that the key to fulfilling a longtime DSU saying, “a past to honor, a future to insure” is strong alumni self-sacrifice. Frank and Mary have made an indelible mark on Delaware State University.