For more than four decades, Dean Marcia Conrad influenced generations of Bay Path students. A graduate of Springfield College, she came to Bay Path in 1963, and was appointed dean of students in 1964, the youngest dean of students in the country at the time. Many of our alumni remember her not only as a constant presence on campus, always ready to lend an ear or give advice, but also as a role model. Along with her husband, Irv, and sons, Scott and Kirk, she joined students in the dining commons for meals and events. She created community and, more importantly, set a positive example of family. She was a woman ahead of her time, balancing career, family, and life. From my first days as President, she was a strong supporter of my efforts, and I could rely on her wise counsel. How fortunate I was to have her by my side!
During her tenure, the campus underwent many changes including the building of the Breck Fitness Center, the renovation of the Blake Student Commons, and the renaming of Brookside Hall to Wright Hall, in honor of the fourth president of Bay Path, Dr. Jeanette T. Wright, for whom Marcia worked for many years. One of the greatest achievements under her leadership was securing NCAA Division III status for the Bay Path athletic programs. Hundreds of student-athletes owe her a debt of gratitude. Upon retirement, her life of service was acknowledged by the University with the establishment of the Marcia H. Conrad Student Services Award. And the University Awards Ceremony was renamed the Dean Marcia H. Conrad Awards Program in her honor. A member of the Bay Path Legacy Society, Marcia also established the Marcia H. Conrad Scholarship. In 2016, I was honored to present Marcia with the President’s Award. Every year, Dean Conrad attends our Reunion, and her presence is one of the highlights of the day. I write for all when I say we are so grateful to have her as a part of the Bay Path community.
Could you share a bit about your life journey and career?
My good fortune early on in my college studies was to know that I wanted to pursue a career where I would be able to help people. This led me to a major in psychology. After receiving two graduate degrees in administration in higher education at Springfield College, I was able to obtain a position as director of student activities at Bay Path in 1963.
What are you most proud of in your career?
In December of 1964, I was appointed dean of students. From that time until retirement in 2004, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with thousands of Bay Path women and help them with their decisions, which were important to their development as students and leaders. Today, after 55 years of involvement with Bay Path, I am still enjoying the friendship of alumni, faculty, and staff.
What is one regret that you have in your career?
There are no career regrets.
What advice would you give to students at Bay Path who are setting out on their own life journey?
Today, students of all ages and stages of their lives have enormous challenges in reaching their educational goals. I would suggest that anyone pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree reach out to a Bay Path faculty member, dean, counselor or the president if they become overwhelmed. It could make the difference between success and failure.