Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Winter 2017 (January 30, 2017)

Former Academic Dean Parker G. Marden

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January 10, 2017

[W17] Parker G. Marden
Photo from: Beloit College Archives

Former Academic Dean and sociologist Parker G. Marden, most recently of Topsham, Maine, passed away in Brunswick, Maine, on Oct. 7 at age 77. Marden was Beloit’s dean from 1988 until 1994, when he became the 13th president of Manchester College (now Manchester University), a liberal arts college in Manchester, Ind. He led Manchester for 11 years before retiring to Maine.

Marden helped create Beloit’s health care minor and started the faculty mentoring program. He succeeded in continuing to internationalize the college and advance interdisciplinary studies. A champion of liberal education and a personable advocate of Beloit’s faculty, he and his wife, Ann, were well-loved members of Beloit’s community.

Marden came to Beloit from St. Lawrence University in New York where he was director of academic resources and planning. He also taught sociology at Lawrence University in Wisconsin and at Cornell University in New York. He earned his B.A. from Bates College and his master’s degree and doctorate in sociology from Brown University.

Marden was a widely published sociologist with interests in population, the environment, and alcohol abuse and treatment. Even while serving as dean, he continued to teach one or two courses at Beloit each year. When he was selected to give Beloit’s Commencement speech in 1994, Marden demonstrated his humor and wisdom, and his remarks made it abundantly clear that he knew and deeply cared about many students personally. His Commencement speech was built around a repeated message to students: “Not unto ourselves alone are we born.” He closed by sharing a stanza from Bob Dylan’s song, “Forever Young.”

May your heart always be joyful

And may your song always be sung

May you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

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