AEB Profile Marbury
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Graduation Date



Sociology and anthropology

Where are you from?

Twinsburg, Ohio.

Where do you currently live?

Twinsburg, Ohio.

3 words to describe yourself?

Passionate, loving and kind.

What is the most interesting thing about you?

My passion for life.

How did you find Hiram?

When I was about seven or eight years old, my father’s friend who was also in antiques was visiting. He lived near Hiram and recommended the school to me.

My sister, Earline Darby came two years after I started at Hiram. We shared a room so we did not have to buy twice the furniture.

What clubs were you involved in?

Social clubs, not fraternities of sororities though. I was in the ABC (alliance for black consciousness) and the educators club.

Your favorite Hiram traditions?

We met under the bell tower every night to listen to music and to relax. In the warm weather, people would lay out on the lawn to picnic or study. It was very comfortable and peaceful. We had traying in the winter and there were steak nights on Saturday. I think they were trying to pacify us for staying on campus for the weekend.

Favorite professor?

Dr. Guylas, my advisor, who was the head of the sociology and anthropology department. He encouraged me from the beginning to not feel self-doubt and discouraged, “You can do this” he would say and made sure I felt ready to go.

All of my friends graduated before me in the Class of ’76 and during my last year, I was running out of money so I had to graduate early but I still had many classes and credits to complete. Dr. Guylas set a schedule that let me do two independent studies on top of working for my teaching credits, and he let me do a three-week too during our interim period. It totaled to twenty-one credit hours but it was really instrumental in letting me graduate with such a crazy chance.

Another professor, Professor Ken Faulkner, my education instructor, inspired my understanding of what an education truly means and how it can take you anywhere.

What is your favorite location on campus?

The Student Union. It was a place to come together for anything; in times of support, if something ever happened or to study and hang out. They had the best cheeseburgers there too.

What is your favorite Hiram memory?

I was so excited about learning. My favorite memories are the times spent picking out and signing up for classes each quarter. My classmates and I were excited to pick out classes, anxious about them filling up, who our professors would be whether we feared them or wanted a particular one… There was always much discussion and excitement.

If a fellow student was failing or struggling in class, my friends and I spent lots of time helping other students study and write their papers. We were all hear together and we all wanted to do well, I didn’t want them to fail so I helped where I could This comradery and support continued as we were all excited to share what skills and information we were learning in our classes with each other.

The precious and endearing thing about Hiram was meeting my lifelong friends.

What is the most important thing that you learned from Hiram?

Keep focus. Believe in me and what I can do.

Do you feel that Hiram prepared you for your future?

I felt very prepared. There was a Mr. Johan, a critic teacher at Marshall High. I had to prep tests for my students and it was frustrating because he would correct my tests and I knew I had to make it right. I needed to know the answers I wanted in order to write the proper questions. It was hard but very fruitful work. I thank Hiram for my achievements and for making me ready for the outside world.

What is your current employment? Retired? What are you doing now?

I received my certification in sociology and anthropology and went straight to teaching. I taught American government at Warrensville Heights. They were desperate and hired me the day before classes started and gave me only one book to make my lessons plans from. But, it was very fulfilling, I taught the social studies class and took two buses of students to D.C.

The future mayor of Warrensville and even Warrensville’s current finance director were both in that class. It was a very bright class. For the D.C. trip, a reporter from the Plain Dealer came with us, many teachers and parents all came too—it was the greatest time. But, the greatest field trip that I ever went on was when I was still in practicum at Hiram. Our class at Aurora High School went to Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport to fly up for a sociological, topographical view of the greater Cleveland Area. Hiram gave me that.

After Warrensville, I taught English at Tri-C for a year and then worked as a paralegal at the first African American woman’s law firm: Johnson, Keenon and Blackman from ’79 to ’81. After the firm folded, I had been teaching at Cleveland and had a contracted but Cleveland suggested that I continue my education in order to get a continuing contract. So, I went back to school to get my reading validation and more. I took my courses in the evenings and on the weekends and was supported to get my reading endorsement at Cleveland State University, my middle school certificate at Baldwin Wallace University, and then I continued my studies in education at Walsh, Walden and Notre Dame.

In Cleveland, I helped to rewrite the curriculum for the English and writing department in’94 to ’95 and I remained with the Cleveland School District until my retirement in 2011.

What do you enjoy in your spare time?

I am married. My husband is nineteen years older than I am, I am very active but he is quiet and does his thing. I am the public relations person for my church, I am very strong in my faith, I read the scripture and mediate on it every morning. My proudest accomplishment was registering my church, Triumph Church in Cleveland, Ohio, as a historic landmark because President Garfield used to be a preacher there.

I am also a Fairy Godmother for a non-profit that provides dresses for Prom and I am the facilitator and curriculum writer for the character building “Project Love” organization. I am very happy and satisfied with my life.

What brought you back to Hiram and why the Alumni Executive Board (AEB)?

I am a new member. This is my season to be at Hiram and to give back. Hiram is the place for me. I wanted to help in any way. I am at a place in my life where I feel that I just needed to be here. My labor is for the greater good, no matter how grand or humble the task.

Anything else you would like to share?

My nephew went to Hiram a few years ago. In light of his and other student’s struggle to pay for textbooks, I created the Rev. Willie H. Darby Book Fund; it is named after my father. My father was a 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.

Both of my parents, my mother and father had strong values of faith, family and education, providing me with a solid foundation to succeed.

Felix, my loving husband of eighteen years and I have decided to leave our entire estate to Hiram but, for now, I am happy and healthy giving back to my community. 


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