Things are only impossible until they’re not.
– Jean-Luc Picard
Volume 73 | Issue 2
March 2005

Profession and Association lose a union 'dynamo'

Phyllis P. Marshall, 1984 Butts-Whiting Award winner and long-time union director at the University of South Florida, died on Feb. 5 at age 78. Marshall had given many years of her service and

spunk to the Association and the profession before retiring in 1994.

"To many she is a model of the total individual-a woman for all seasons, a woman of courage, strength, and an ever-present humor," the late Gail B. Clay, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, said of Marshall when presenting her with the Butts-Whiting Award at the annual conference March 28, 1984 in St. Louis.

Marshall was a hard worker throughout her career. She served in many positions related to student affairs-teacher, director of student activities, dean of women, assistant director of athletics, resident instructor and program director, and union director of the University Center at the University of South Florida.

"Phyllis Marshall was so loved by the students here at the University of South Florida that they actually lobbied the state legislature to name what was then called the University Center after her upon her retirement," said Guy Conway, director of the Phyllis P. Marshall Student Center.

As an ACUI member, Marshall served as national tournament director for intercollegiate bridge, chairperson of the Committee on the Status of Women, vice chairperson of the Recreation Committee, member of the 1978 Conference Planning Committee, member of the Commission on Educational Programs and Services, and she chaired the search committee for an ACUI executive director that resulted in the hiring of Richard Blackburn. Marshall also was an active volunteer in her local community including the Chamber of Commerce, Special Olympics, a women's support group, and a leukemia society. But among all these commitments, Marshall managed to squeeze in time for her outside-of-work interests.

"Though she is a dynamo at work, she manages her time to assure that she views all televised sporting events and may even miss an administrative meeting if it conflicts with her favorite home pro football team," Clay said during the Butts-Whiting presentation. "In fact, when attending such events, she has been known to be as active in the stands as the players on the field."

Marshall will be remembered for making the kinds of contributions the Butts-Whiting Award serves to recognize: furthering the union and activities profession and serving as a model to others.

"A number of professionals now in the field are there because of her support, encouragement, and training, and she will counsel former students at an international conference just as she did when they served on the program board," Clay said of Marshall when presenting her with the Butts-Whiting Award. "She is a very sensitive and perceptive person who genuinely cares about other people, and her best hours are usually after midnight. She doesn't make the late-hour lobby scene as often as C. Shaw Smith, but she has closed more bars."

There will be a celebration of Phyllis Marshall's life on April 18 at 11 a.m. Eastern in the Special Events Center of the University of South Florida. Anyone needing additional information should contact Guy Conway, director of the Phyllis P. Marshall Center, at gconway@admin.usf.edu or (813) 974-5400. Donations can be made in Marshall's name to the Phyllis P. Marshall Center at the University of South Florida.