Faye ’71 and Ronnie Marcum give back to Radford

On September 22, 1967, Faye ’71 and Ronnie Marcum met at a mixer in Peters Hall on Radford’s campus. Ronnie was a sophomore at Virginia Tech, and Faye was a freshman at Radford College. When Ronnie and his classmate walked into the mixer, a dozen girls were lined up just inside the door and an upbeat dance song was playing in the background.

“Faye happened to be on the left side. I didn’t know what she looked like, so I tapped her on the shoulder and said, ‘Hey, you wanna dance?’ She said, ‘OK,’ and we’ve been dancing ever since,” said Ronnie.

Faye and Ronnie dated throughout their college years and were married in 1970, right before Faye’s senior year at Radford. Faye studied education. Growing up, she had two younger brothers that she loved to teach, which inspired her to be a teacher.

Faye '71 and Ronnie Marcum dancing at the VIP Tent during Radford's 2021 Homecoming weekend.

“We would not be at the point we are in our lives now if it weren’t for the scholarships and help we received while we were in school,” explained Faye. Ronnie added that he, too, would not have been able to go to college without scholarships.

This has inspired Faye and Ronnie to fund several scholarships at various colleges over the years. Recently, they established the Marcum Family Scholarship at Radford University, an endowment in honor of Faye’s Golden Reunion. This scholarship will assist students pursuing teacher licensure that prepares them to provide inclusive educational services to exceptional learners in the general and adapted curriculum. Having grandchildren with autism and ADHD, they described this scholarship as being dear to their hearts.

“Part of our makeup is to give back and help people however we can. Being able to fund scholarships is one way we can really impact the future and help students,” said Ronnie. “This scholarship in particular is really exciting because we can hopefully impact the lives of children with creative differences.”

In recent years, Faye and Ronnie have reconnected with Radford in new ways, not only attending various University functions and getting to know the faculty, staff and administration, but also by being part of the TOGETHER Campaign Steering Committee and the College of Education and Human Development Reunion Planning Committee. By getting involved on campus, they have been able to enjoy attending events and touring new facilities they may not have known about otherwise. Now Faye encourages others to go back to campus, too.

“We have gotten to know so many people at Radford, and we have fallen in love with the campus again. I am so impressed with the quality of the teachers and staff and how much they invest in the students. I’m ready to start back at Radford all over again,” said Faye with a laugh.