Standout Marcus
featured in N&R story


LaToya Marcus has been an outstanding Corporate Communications major in Elon's School of Communications since she landed on campus, so it's no surprise that she's the topic of a Greensboro News & Record feature story during the week of her graduation.

In a May 21 article headlined "No Money? Hey, No Problem," staff writer John Newsom tells how 2004 graduate Marcus has succeeded due to her charm, intellect and determination.

He writes:

When LaToya Marcus gets her degree Saturday from Elon University, she will complete an education that, had she paid full price, would have cost her more than $80,000. But Marcus, a Greensboro native raised by her mom, got through four years of Elon and traveled overseas twice - to Spain and Australia - although she had no money saved for college. She will go out into the world, a high honors graduate of Elon, only about $3,000 in debt. How did she do it?

Her formula is simple: Have faith in God. Be determined. Work hard - and keep working. "I don't know where it comes from," Marcus said. "Maybe it's faith." But good things will happen, she added, "as long as I've done my part."

She did her part at Dudley High School, where she compiled a straight-A average and graduated 12th in her class of 2000. Paying for college, she figured, would take care of itself. Her mother, Lynda Marcus, a secretary at a BellSouth office in Greensboro, helped out some. (Marcus' father, Nathaniel, died when she was in middle school.) LaToya Marcus cobbled together outside scholarships from a local company and a pageant she took part in during high school. Marcus got two big scholarships from Elon: an honors grant worth $6,000 per year, and a Watson Scholarship, which is worth $10,000 per year and was first awarded to Marcus and nine other financially needy students who entered Elon in fall 2000.

She got other scholarships during her four years at Elon. As a senior, she worked as a resident adviser, which covered her room and board costs. So much for being scared off by the high cost of a private college education.

"It was, 'Why shouldn't I go there?'" Marcus said. "That's been my mind-set. I knew scholarships were the way I'd have to go."

Newsome continues the story, giving more detail of Marcus' study abroad and her indomitable spirit. The story also illustrates how well Elon University supports student-initiated ideas. When Marcus needed $5,000 to be able to attend a seminar in Australia, she found the money by appealing to various deans and department heads across the campus, accruing enough to cover her costs.

Marcus graduates Elon with a second major - Spanish - and a 3.87 grade point average on a 4-point scale. She has been a student leader in many organizations, and was a member of the School of Communications Student Advisory Board.

She will soon begin teaching English in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas, working for at least two years with the Teach for America program, which places new college graduates in low-income rural and urban schools. She is considering a future career in law or as a community advocate for Latino immigrants.



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Last Modified:  5/22/04
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