Ray Marvin ’60, ’17 (Hon.) leads by example

Alumnus inspires a generation of future leaders

By Anne-Margaret Swary
 
Ray Marvin ’60, ’17 (Hon.) has dedicated his professional career to impacting communities through engaged citizenship.
 
Whether in public service, private practice or as an entrepreneur who led a  disruption of the telecommunications industry, he exemplifies leading  with integrity, fosters active engagement and invests in the success of  others for the betterment of our global society.
 
These pillars are what he hopes to impart to BGSU students through the  University’s newly renamed C. Raymond Marvin Center for Student  Leadership.
 
BGSU is a leader in providers of holistic student experience, and the center  embodies a mission to work with students of all majors and interests to  develop lifelong leadership skills. In recognition of his nearly  decade-long support of this mission and a recent gift in excess of $1  million, the center was recently renamed in Marvin’s honor. Through his  support, the Marvin Center will ensure BGSU is developing the future  generation of thought leaders who take the skills learned while students  to impact their communities, propel change and pursue meaningful and  productive lives.
 
“Ray’s support of the Center for Student Leadership is a testament to his  goodwill and sincere commitment to helping develop the next generation  of social change leaders in the world,” said Dr. Jacob Clemens,  associate dean of students. “His support will mean that even more  students will be able to have opportunities to engage in leadership  development opportunities that are robust, intentional, impactful and  innovative.”
 
Marvin, who earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from BGSU in 1960, has  been involved with the center as an alumnus since its creation in 2010.  In its first year, he provided support to
create  and host a leadership summit and also established the Ray Marvin  Leadership Awards, which recognize students’ commitment to leadership  development and contributions to their communities both on and off  campus. These annual awards, which include a prize ranging from  $3,000-$5,000 per student, have provided educational support to more  than 30 BGSU students over the last 10 years.
 
Having the ability to provide financial support for current students is  especially rewarding for Marvin, who worked multiple jobs to pay his way through college and nearly had to drop out at one point.
 
“When others went on trips for spring break, I stayed at the University  buffing the floors,” he said. “With hard work and the help of others, I  have been fortunate to be successful in law and business, and I’m very  happy to be able now to share some of my resources with an organization  so closely aligned with my values. BGSU is a place I remember fondly and  with great appreciation for its focus on preparing students to assume  responsibility for the work of fulfilling the promise of their own  potential and that of our nation.”
 
For Marvin, the opportunity to come back to campus periodically to meet  with students is reward enough for his support over the years.
 
“It is a great pleasure to interact with today’s students and to learn of  the depth of their values and principles,” he said. “I want to have a  feel for how the new generations are thinking about public policy issues  and are thinking about their role involving a world that works for as  many people as possible.”
 
The Marvin Center for Student Leadership engages and teaches students to  achieve true leadership abilities through a number of initiatives and  programs, including workshops, classes, annual leadership academies and  retreats, as well as certificate programs in various competency areas of  student leadership.
 
“To me, Ray embodies many of the qualities of leadership we hope BGSU  students are able to acquire and hone while at BGSU,” Clemens said.  “He’s compassionate, humble, committed and has a sincere and authentic  passion to help others.”
 
After graduating from BGSU, Marvin went on to earn a law degree from the  University of Michigan and embarked on a successful career that included  serving as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate Corps, a law  practice with a large Cleveland firm, Ohio assistant attorney general,  assistant director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of  Competition and founding director of the National Association of  Attorneys General. In the late 1980s, Marvin transitioned from law into  business ventures in the communications industry, where he became known  as a visionary and entrepreneur in software and telecommunications. BGSU  awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2017.
 
Marvin’s personal and professional work through the years — whether improving  the communities in which he’s been associated, impacting public policy  or lending wisdom and support to BGSU students — reflects and bolsters  the University’s efforts to act in the public interest and create public  good.
 
“Our intention is to prepare our students to have successful and fulfilled  careers, but we also want our students to do good,” BGSU President  Rodney K. Rogers ’81 said. “That means being leaders in their  communities, striving to make a difference and pursuing a life of  engaged citizenship.
 
“This center offers a co-curricular education that ensures they are ready to  lead in their first job and the next. And because of Ray Marvin’s  support, we are better positioning our students for success.”
 
BGSU students such as senior Hannah Cubberley couldn’t agree more.
 
“My work with the Marvin Center for Student Leadership was the first time I  actually thought about what it meant to be a leader and how to inspire  leadership in others,” said Cubberley, a Cleveland native who will  graduate in May with degrees in political science, Spanish and  communication.
 
Cubberley had the opportunity to serve as a student leadership assistant at the  center — a role that provided interaction with many student  organizations and hundreds of aspiring student leaders on campus through  a variety of activities. As a result, she feels a strong connection to  the BGSU community and her peers.
 
“My experiences profoundly affected how I view myself as a leader and what I  aim to accomplish in life, and I’m grateful to the center for helping  to foster my educational and leadership growth, creativity and  confidence,” she said. “I have been lucky to work with remarkable  students who have inspired me to become a better person, a better leader  and a better friend. This is the legacy that Ray Marvin inspires.”