Humans of Hiram — August 2018 Spotlight
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Patricia "Darby" Marbury '77

Hiram college Alumni Spotlight

Darby Marbury is a passionate and giving alumna of Hiram College. Her parents had strong values of faith, family and education, providing her with a solid foundation to succeed. In the class of 1977, Hiram taught her how to believe in herself and to keep focus, graduating with a teaching certificate and major in sociology/anthropology.

Darby remembers her time at Hiram in moments of: evenings gathered under the bell tower, picnicking on the green, playing cards, traying, dining hall steak nights, weekly clean sheets from the cleaning staff, and time spent in the ABC African American Social and Educators clubs.  Darby’s advisor, Dr. Gulyas of the sociology/anthropology department encouraged her to be confident and to never doubt herself. He helped her graduate early with a course load of 21 credit hours, two independent studies, her teaching credits and a three-week class during the interim period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Professor Ken Faulkner, Darby’s education instructor inspired her understanding of what an education truly means and how it can take you anywhere.

Darby was hired to teach at Warrensville Heights the day before classes began with just a single book of social studies in hand. Her class was a bright one, with future leaders of the town in it: such as the Mayor and the Finance Director of Warrensville. She led a news-covered field trip to Washington D.C. with her class but the best field trip she ever had was with Hiram College during her practicum at Aurora High School. They flew from Burke Lakefront Airport for a sociological, topographical view of the Greater Cleveland Area.

Next, Darby was hired by the Cleveland School District. They supported her in pursuing her reading endorsement at Cleveland State University, her middle school certificate at Baldwin Wallace University continuing her studies in education at Walsh, Walden and Notre Dame.  She remained with the Cleveland School District until her retirement in 2011.

Outside of teaching, three activities have lovingly occupied Darby’s life. She is a Fairy Godmother for a non-profit that provides dresses for Prom and she is the facilitator and curriculum writer for the character building “Project Love” organization. Darby’s proudest moment is when she made her church, the Triumph Church, in Cleveland, Ohio a historic landmark.

President James A. Garfield had once been a preacher at the Triumph Church in Cleveland. Upon discovering this, Darby worked to put their church on the map and received in their moment of recognition, letters from: President Garfield’s Great-Granddaughter, Polly Garfield; The President of Hiram College, Elmer Jagow; The Mayor of Hiram, Mayor Grayer; President Reagan and the United States Congress who sent a note and a capital flag that was flown in their honor. These items are Darby’s most prized possessions. Now in the public relations position of her church, Darby has seen it through relocation, historical recognition, hosting their denomination’s national conference and a mortgage burning ceremony.

Darby still keeps in touch with Hiram, occasionally taking students under her wing. Her nephew, a Hiram graduate, inspired her to give back to Hiram in the form of a book fund for African American students in light of his struggle to pay for textbooks. It is called the Rev. Willie H. Darby Book Fund, named after her father who she thanks and credits for all of her success and happiness. He used to tell her that there was no luck in the world except for hard work but even so, he lovingly called her his lucky daughter because she was the seventh child born in the seventh month. Darby says her father was a retired, licensed, brick mason but was eventually interviewed by Hiram alumnus, Michael Stanley "P.M. Magazine" for being the oldest and only African American antique dealer at the Aurora antique barn.

Darby thanks Hiram for her achievements and for making her ready for the outside world. Darby and her sister, Earline Darby '81, used to joke that it was a big deal to buy Hiram College sweatshirts as students because they were expensive. Now, Darby will be a world traveler as she prepares to meet her best friend, Myra Hopkins Davenport '76 in Abu Dhabi this fall.

Darby feels that Hiram has always been the place for her. She wishes to help out in any way because it is her season to be at Hiram and to give back. With no children, she and her loving husband of 18 years, Felix have decided to leave their entire estate to Hiram. But, for now, she is happy and healthy, and is a positive contributor to her community.

Humans of Hiram spotlights a different faculty, staff, student, alumni, or friend each month.

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