Samuel Marble

First President,

Marble was a pioneer in the region’s higher education. 

‌Before helping found SVSU and becoming its first president in 1964, he served as the original president of neighboring Delta College. Marble was recruited from Wilmington, Ohio to lead Delta in 1961, with the expectation the college would mature into a 4-year school. When that effort failed, Marble instead led a campaign to establish a new school — a dream today realized as SVSU.

The university began as a private college housed in the basement of Delta, but Marble’s leadership helped Saginaw Valley College raise critical early funding, purchase the land where it now resides, and earn status as a state-sponsored institution. He accomplished these objectives within three years of the school’s charter.

Marble stepped down in 1974. One of his successors, Eric Gilbertson, penned a letter upon Marble’s death in 1990. An excerpt read, “He was by all testimony something of a dreamer, something of an idealist, something of an inventor, even a radical. Like most people who create things or change things, he did not always win unanimous approval. But no one can say that his passing this way did not matter. It mattered a great deal.”