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A Spartan at Work

Marc says his reasons for giving back to the university are easy to list.

Marc Conlin

Between his time as a student and as an employee, Marc Conlin (’69, Engineering; ’72, MBA) has invested some 50 years in Michigan State University. His Spartan legacy goes beyond eager learning, devoted professional acumen and trusted leadership to significant financial support.

The longtime administrative spearhead of one of MSU’s largest and most distinguished academic departments, Physics and Astronomy, Marc was recognized in 2009 with the Jack Breslin Award, MSU’s highest honor for non-academic staff. With cash and future gifts incorporated in his estate plans, including from his university 403b retirement plan, he has provided endowed support for graduate students in engineering and in physics and astronomy. He also created an endowment for recognizing and empowering the outstanding service of university staff in physics and astronomy.

Marc says his reasons for giving back to the university are easy to list.

“I have been fortunate to have gone to school here, and to work here with the people that I do,” he says. “There is vision and foresight here to keep us in the forefront of current teaching and research. But, I can see the difference that endowments make both in accomplishing that mission and in enabling great people to do great work.”

Along the way, Marc has been active in MSU Alumni Clubs in Mid-Michigan and Southwest Florida. He became a lifetime member of the MSUAA, as well as a member of the Spartan Fund. At one time, he was tapped to manage and lead the development of MSU’s student radio station, despite having no broadcasting experience or ambition. He stays connected with each college he’s touched: Engineering, Broad Business, Natural Science and Communication Arts and Sciences. His expertise is continually sought for initiatives across campus.

“I get a lot of invitations,” he grins.

As an engineer with an MBA, and recognized skills, Marc could have easily launched a career in business and industry, but he says he never gave serious thought to leaving MSU.

“I came to school and then I started working,” he says. “I never got bored. I have always been challenged to learn and do new things, trying to do things better or more efficiently. No day is the same but I use both my engineering and business background every day.”

Indeed. No one is encouraging Marc to take an early retirement.