College president retires after 27 years of service

By Jesse O. Walls

Amidst the excitement and anticipation of the 48 Annual Spring Commencement, Dr. Glenn Coltharp, Vice President of Academic Affairs, announced Crowder President, Dr. Alan Marble, would be retiring at the end of the academic year. Having served the college for 27 years in various positions, the past six years as president, Dr. Marble’s retirement will become effective on June 30.

Having attended Crowder as a student, Dr. Marble received his associates of arts in general studies. He would later return to Crowder in 1986 as the Director of Continuing Education and would fill many roles, including Dean of Development and Business Relations and Dean of Business and Support Services, before being named interim president in 2006. A year later he would be given the title of President.


During his time as president, the college has seen great progress and become one of the fastest growing colleges in Missouri, according to a news release from Cindy Brown, Director of Public Information.

“Several building projects were completed, including the Arnold Farber building, Tatum Bell Tower, Davidson Hall, and the MARET Center,” stated Brown in the news release. Other building projects that were started during Dr. Marble’s duration as president include the McDonald County facility, which is currently under construction, as well as the plans for the new Webb City expansion.

“Dr. Marble has been an outstanding president at Crowder College,” commented Andy Wood, President of the Board of Trustees. “He provided us fantastic leadership during a time when Crowder was experiencing unprecedented growth.”

According to Brown, the college enrollment numbers have increased greatly as well, nearly doubling in the past six years.

“…the rapid growth, the expansion of programs, and all those things…those are things that great people did here, not particularly me,” commented Dr. Marble. “I’m just proud to have been part of it.”


With his retirement becoming effective June 30, Dr. Marble will be transitioning to Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) as a special assistant to the president of the university, stated an article in the Joplin Globe.

“With his long experience in higher education administration and his intricate knowledge of the needs of students, we knew Dr. Marble would be a great fit at MSSU,” commented Bruce Speck, President of MSSU, in a statement.

“I’m going as an assistant to President Speck,” commented Dr. Marble, on his transition to MSSU, “…primarily to help community college relations, not just here [Crowder], but all community colleges, to help draw in transfer students.”

Marble will begin his duties at MSSU on July 1.


The void left by Dr. Marble at Crowder will be filled by Dr. Kent Farnsworth, who will serve as interim president for the 2013-2014 school year while a replacement is being found. Dr. Farnsworth served as Crowder President for 19 years before stepping down in 2004.