2002 Distinguished Service Award
Peter C. Marks ’73
Peter Marks ’73 says that when he was a student at Dickinson, the last thing he wanted was to be part of “the establishment.” Sure, the political science major belonged to a fraternity, played men’s soccer and was a member of student senate, but these memories are less powerful for him than those of anti-war protests and the growing counterculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Ask Pete about the establishment these days and you’ll find him right in the middle of it, serving Dickinson as a dedicated member of the alumni body.
Over the years Pete has been extremely supportive of the college. As a young graduate he was active in the Alumni Admissions Program (now called the Dickinson Volunteer Network), representing the college in the Washington, D.C., area. “I had just moved to the area and it was a great way to get involved in the local community and help the college at the same time,” he notes.
A longtime member of the John Dickinson Society, Pete was a charter member of the Dickinson Fund Advisory Council (DFAC). He has served as president of the Council, national chairman of the Dickinson Fund, chair of the Annual Fund, chair of the Class of 1973 and is a former member of the Board of Advisors.
His background in banking—an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico and years of experience as executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Center for Financial Training—has proved to be an asset to the college’s fund-raising efforts, which Pete says have “matured” considerably over the years. The evidence: contributions to the Dickinson Fund have quadrupled since the late 1980s.
Pete’s most recent contributions to Dickinson’s well being are in the area of Greek life. For the last four years he has been the alumni association president of the local chapter of Kappa Sigma and in 2000 he joined Roberta Zmuda Greenspan ’77 as co-chair of the Greek Life Action Group.
So how does Pete explain his transformation from disaffected undergrad to distinguished alumnus?
“Back in the ’70s there was a lot of anti-establishment sentiment,” he says, “But once I graduated and put some distance between college and my work life, I was more comfortable supporting organizations…and I’ve found being an alumnus even more valuable than my undergraduate experience. I couldn’t have foreseen that.”
When he’s not in Carlisle attending to college business, Pete serves as a member of the D.C. Regional Cabinet near his home in Kensington, Md. He and wife Gail Troussoff Marks ’73—an active alumna in her own right—have two daughters, Anna, 15, and Lydia, 10.
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