AU endowed a scholarship in honor of the late Professor Sue Marcum in July, to be given to undergraduates pursuing a master’s degree in accounting in the Kogod School of Business.
This is the first year the scholarship has reached a sustainable level, meaning it can be given to students every year for the foreseeable future.
The scholarship was originally set up by Marcum in April 2009 to develop students’ passion for accounting. Marcum was a beloved AU professor for 11 years, and won Kogod Professor of the Year three times during her life, The Eagle previously reported.
Three students have been awarded the scholarship since it started two years ago, according to Lara Kline, Kogod assistant dean for marketing and strategy.
The scholarship was started with donations from Marcum. She even asked for her birthday presents one year to be donations to the fund.
After Marcum died Oct. 25, 2010, members of the AU community and working professionals in D.C. who knew her raised over $50,000 for the fund, the minimum amount of money needed for a scholarship to be endowed.
“The school really responded [to Marcum’s death] in a beautiful way,” said Emily Lindsay, who took over Marcum’s previous position as director of the Master of Science in Accounting program. “There was an outpouring of support by students and by the faculty and at the administration level.”
Faculty and staff in Kogod see the scholarship as tangible evidence of Marcum’s legacy at AU, though they said she had always inspired passion in students for accounting.
Kogod accounting and taxation Professor Don Williamson, a close friend of Marcum’s, regularly hears stories of her lasting impact when speaking with professional accountants.
“There’s a whole generation of accountants, I can’t tell you how many people, I go around time saying, ‘How’d you go into accounting?’ ‘Well, Sue Marcum. Sue Marcum told me to go into accounting,’” Williamson said.
One of those students is Kaitlyn Rooney, a first-year graduate accounting student in Kogod, who learned not only skills but also passion for accounting from Marcum. She was the only recipient of the Sue Marcum Scholarship this year.
“I’m honored to receive such an award,” Rooney said. “It’s just such a great way to remember Professor Marcum.”
An ongoing case
Montgomery County Police have made no further developments in the case of Sue Marcum’s murder since issuing a warrant for Jorge Rueda Landeros on May 27. Landeros is still believed to be in Mexico.
“We have no details on getting the suspect from Mexico,” Officer Rebecca Innocenti said.
Landeros was a 41-year-old yoga instructor who was close friends with Marcum and taught her Spanish, The Eagle previously reported.
Sue Marcum was a beloved AU professor for 11 years, and won Kogod Professor of the Year three times during her life, The Eagle previously reported. She was murdered in her apartment on October 25, 2010. Marcum was 52 years old.
Police initially identified Deandrew Hamlin as a suspect in the murder when he was found driving Marcum’s Jeep the day of her death.
The police dropped charges against Hamlin in May, but later that month the D.C. Superior Court found him guilty of unauthorized use of a vehicle for stealing Marcum’s car, The Eagle previously reported.
Innocenti said MCP is still pursuing the murder case.
“The public perception is that we’re not doinganything, but we’re doing something,” Innocenti said. “We’re still investigating.”
Memories of a teacher
Last year, the news of Sue Marcum’s death was met with sadness and shock from her students and the AU community.
“She was sort of like an informal mentor to me,” said Kogod undergraduate Will McGauran. He had Marcum as a professor in his first accounting course.
“I enjoyed it so much with her that I took her class for the second semester too,” he said.
In addition to peaking his interest in accounting, Marcum also managed to make class time fun, McGauran said.
“She always used to give out extra credit points, and they used to be physical points. They would say I heart accounting and other stuff,” he said, “It was very distinctive of her class and her sense of just being a fun person.”
Mark Kruzel, a senior in Kogod and the School of International Service, also took both of his accounting classes with Marcum and said they were very close.
“She was kind of the welcoming door into Kogod,” he said. “She was a mentor in pushing me in that direction, helping me decide what I wanted to do.”
Many students say Marcum was more than just a mentor. Kruzel said she was a very effective accounting professor and that her students benefited from her teaching style and breadth of knowledge.
“She made you work, not just pass a course, succeed,” he said.
Molly McCafferty, now an Kogod alumnus and graduate of the MPA program, had known Marcum since first taking her class during her sophomore year. She was Marcum’s graduate assistant shortly before Marcum died.
“She was a phenomenal professor, person, teacher, mentor and any other noun you can come up with,” she said. “She was one of those professors who really truly cared.”
McCafferty said Marcum played a large role in helping her figure out what to do after graduation. McCafferty loves her current job and said that, when she was deciding what firm to join, Marcum reassured her that she was making the right choice and picking the firm in which she would best fit.
“I know a lot of people who chose accounting because of her or were at least inspired into business because of her,” Kruzel said.
Memories of a colleague
Many of the professors in the department of taxation said Marcum acted as a maternal figure to students and was deeply involved in the department.
“That’s why Sue was so well loved and known by everyone here: because she really cared,” Williamson said.
Following Marcum’s death, professors quickly took over the classes she was teaching, including Principles of Financial Accounting and graduate-level Financial Accounting. Making the academic switch was easy, but the shock of the situation was the biggest challenge, they said.
“Everyone circled the wagons on that one,” Williamson said.
Marcum served as a mentor for Lindsay, who fondly remembers Marcum’s progress in reinvigorating the MSA program and now holds Marcum’s seat.
“It was a tall order to fill, for sure,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay said she still tries to emulate Marcum’s warm, welcoming nature to make Kogod a better place for everybody, students and faculty alike.
“Now that she’s gone, I try to remind myself that even if you’re very busy and working on your own tasks, if there’s someone new coming to the school … I try to reach out to give them a hand because just that type of generosity can make a big difference,” Lindsay said.
Williamson was also particularly close to Marcum, who was an undergraduate student of his when she attended AU.
He spoke at a memorial service held for Marcum on Nov. 9, 2010 in Bender Arena, where he talked about her caring nature. Then he threw out his notes from the speech.
“When it’s all said in life, all you have is your memories,” Williamson said of his decision to forego notes. “It’s all what it’s all about.”