Marvin Moody's winding path back home to Indiana University took 25 years, a second career, and a cross-country move. In the end, he came back to the university that he says changed his life. He chose to celebrate his life's journey with a gift to IU.
Marvin lives in a home nestled among trees just outside of Bloomington. At 72, he drives his white Trans Am, which matches his long white hair, over and around the hills of Brown and Monroe counties to IU, where he was first a student and later a professor in the 1960s and 1970s.
Today, he simply enjoys the campus' many offerings. He cheers the Hoosiers on the field or on the court, listens to soaring arias at the Musical Arts Center, volunteers in the French department where he once taught, or sits in on lectures out of intellectual curiosity. A recent class on the Beatles was a personal favorite.
Like the long winding roads around his home, Marvin's path to IU as an undergraduate was circuitous. He grew up on a farm outside New Harmony, Indiana. Marvin read voraciously about the world beyond southern Indiana. His outstanding grades and aptitude for math earned him a scholarship to Purdue. Once there, he declared five majors in six semesters and then dropped out.
But it didn't take him long to find his way back to higher education. A short stint pumping gas convinced him that he belonged back in college. This time, he chose Indiana University.
"I graduated in a high school class of 23 other Hoosiers," Marvin explains."Indiana University opened up a whole world to me. My roommate was Italian; I took classes with Russians majoring in French, and South Americans majoring in Spanish. My entire outlook on life broadened at IU as I was exposed to other peoples, nations, and ways of thought."
Marvin admired his IU professors so much that he decided to become one. He received a master's degree in French in 1963 and one of the first doctorates in French linguistics in 1972. He served on the French faculty at IU for a decade.
Then Marvin discovered another language—computer programming. He received a master's degree in computer science from IU in 1981. "I was in my 40s going to classes with kids in their 20s. They'd say, 'Let's do an all-nighter, Marvin.' And I'd say, 'I can make it 'til midnight.' "
After 25 years as a software engineer for major tech companies in Colorado and California, Marvin chose to retire close to the IU campus. "I wanted to be a part of the university again and show my gratitude for the life IU afforded me," he says.
Thanks to Marvin, the Department of French and Italian awards the Marvin D. Moody Fellowship annually to a graduate student studying French linguistics.
Marvin made his gift available to students during his lifetime. "It is so gratifying when I meet the student who receives my fellowship," Marvin says.
When Marvin looks back at the little boy from New Harmony who grew up to teach college, present papers, write books, design computer programs, travel abroad, and meet fascinating people, he is filled with gratitude for IU. "My whole life's journey was possible because of IU," Marvin says.
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Marvin chose to fund his scholarship with a bequest. He wanted to meet the students he is helping, so he contributes annual gifts to ensure the Marvin D. Moody Fellowship is awarded each year during his lifetime, too.
For more information contact the Office of Gift Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-558-8311.