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The Man Behind the Ethics Lecture: T. Marc Futter

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T. Marc Futter (center) with students at an honor pledge signing.

“More and more, people neglect the ramifications and repercussions of NOT doing the right thing or feel that unethical decisions and actions have no negative consequences,” states T. Marc Futter.  “While the issue is much discussed, rarely has there been an attempt to address it purposefully and experientially within the college environment.”

With this belief in mind, Marc Futter provided Bay Path with a $100,000 gift to establish the T. Marc Futter Program for Ethics in Leadership and Integrity in Action. This generous donation funds our speaker program that is open to both our entire community and the public. It was his hope that people, and particularly students, would begin to think beyond themselves, and consider the feelings and well-being of others.  

Marc firmly believed that ethics must be the critical thread in decision-making and be the moral principles that govern human behavior.  He arrived at this tenet because he learned from personal experience how the lack of ethics can have unimaginable impact.

Marc was born in Germany in 1921.  When anti-Semitism was on the rise in the early 1930s in Germany, Marc moved with his family to England and then Norway.  In 1941, following the German occupation of Norway, Marc was imprisoned in Oslo.  After many torturous months, he was able to escape when a Norwegian guard arrived at this door one night, handed him a copy of the New Testament, and walked away, leaving the door ajar. Amazingly, he was able to escape and hid in Norway, eventually crossing the border to Sweden. In Sweden, he recovered from his ordeal, and, in time was able to enroll and graduate from Uppsala University.  In 1946, he emigrated to the United States and was reunited with family members who had survived the war. Eventually, with his brothers (they first worked at the business), they were able to buy the Kellogg Brush Company in Easthampton, MA, and he retired from the business in 1990.

Despite all that Marc had gone through, many people who knew him were struck by his optimism, generosity, and perseverance.  He became a passionate collector of art because it was “universal and represented the positive spirit of humankind.” He was on countless boards in the region and was a fervent supporter of education, and believed strongly in Bay Path’s mission. As a result, he created the ethics fund. And that is why T. Marc Futter will forever be remembered at Bay Path, and we are honored that our annual April Ethics Lecture bears his name.