By former Principal Dr. Robert Perrotta
"Señor" Marshall begins his Teaching Career
In the fall of 1969, Gregory Hugh Marshall, following in the footsteps of his father, entered the hallowed halls of Fairfield College Preparatory School as a humble freshman. As Greg’s Spanish teacher of several years, I can attest to his drive, intelligence, and passion for learning. By graduation, Greg was well on his way to embracing the Jesuit ideals of being a man of competence, conscience, compassion, and action.
After graduating from the University of Connecticut, Greg returned to Prep in the Spring of 1979 where I had the privilege of mentoring him as a student-teacher. That fall, he replaced me in the Language Department. For 22 years, he served as a stellar teacher to scores of students who affectionally referred to him as El Señor. Greg not only taught his students Spanish but also inspired in them a love of learning and a commitment to excellence.
Multilingual Renaissance Man is Author, Poet, Linguist
When I think of Greg, the term, “Renaissance Man” immediately comes to mind because he possesses so many interests and skills in so many diverse areas. Greg is a consummate professional who has taught both Spanish and English at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate level. I can assure you that I have never stumped him with questions on some exoteric point of grammar. Rather, he would take great pride and joy in explaining the point in question in vivid detail.
Greg is multilingual. In addition to his outstanding mastery of Spanish, Greg has taught himself Italian and Portuguese and enjoys using both Latin and Greek. If you ever want to know the etymology of a word, ask Greg!
Greg is a published author in several venues. Some of his publications include: Sonnets of Love Lost, Love Sought, and Love Found, Mastering Spanish Verbs, and, Effective Writing: Basic Grammar and Diagramming.
Marshall directs Admissions and Financial Aid, becomes Assistant to the President
Greg is a talented administrator. As Chair of the Language Department, he focused his attention on curriculum development and teacher professional development. Greg was one of our best teacher evaluators with his written observations becoming a model for the chairs of other departments. This skill led to his being elected by his peers to the position of Chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee, a position he held for many years.
Based on his reputation for competence, creativity, analytical thinking, and dependability, in 2001, Greg was asked to leave the classroom to fill the position of Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. Greg immediately began to restructure and reimagine how the Prep could best recruit a talented and diverse applicant pool in a highly competitive environment. Under his leadership, student applications significantly increased, and academic excellence was maintained even in times of economic downturns when enrollment plummeted in other Catholic schools. Greg also streamlined and simplified how families applied for financial aid, and how these applications were reviewed based on objective national criteria. Through his efforts, Prep significantly increased the amount of aid available to its applicants assuring that many more highly qualified students could afford a Prep education and that Prep truly fulfilled the Jesuit ideal of educating to a diverse student body.
Greg is both exceptionally analytical and creative, abilities which on the surface do not always appear to go hand in hand. Fortunately for Fairfield Prep, this unique combination of talents allowed us to call upon him to take on difficult and challenging tasks. Greg always graciously agreed to all of our requests, no matter how labor-intensive or time-consuming they would turn out to be. Some of these tasks included: developing a schoolwide, uniform visual identity as well as the mechanism to assure compliance with published standards; chairing a committee to revise the Faculty Handbook; serving on numerous Ad Hoc Committees, including the iPad initiative which enabled Fairfield Prep to establish a reputation as a leader in computer-assisted learning; and serving on the Steering Committee of various accreditation reviews by the NEASC and Mission and Identity Sponsorship by the Province just to name a few.
After 42 years of outstanding service not only to his students but also to the greater Prep community, Greg will finally bid us farewell. I have been blessed to have taught Greg, to have served with him as a trusted colleague, but most of all to be able to call him a friend. Someone once said that “retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of an open highway with endless possibilities and the capability to rediscover your potential.” Greg’s expansive talents, infinite curiosity and creativity, and lifelong love of learning will serve him well as he begins a new chapter in his life — one of discovering and taking advantage of all of the opportunities that lay before him.
Come June, Greg will begin his well-deserved retirement and will finally be able to say to his loving wife, Amy: “Hi, honey, I’m home…forever!” Greg, may you cherish every moment of this next chapter in your life, and may God bless you and your loved ones and hold them in the palm of His hand.
Greg Marshall shares a Farewell Message
As I prepare to embark on my retirement from Fairfield College Preparatory School, I reflect with a range of emotions on the profound blessing of my forty-two years of employment in this wonderful institution.
I was first hired during spring semester of the 1978-1979 school year to fill in as a Spanish teacher for Bob Perrotta, who was then preparing to transition from his teaching position to become the academic dean. My training went well, so Father Jim Bowler, S.J., offered me the full-time Spanish teacher’s position, starting on September 1, 1979.
What I find remarkable as I look back on these forty-two years is the wide range of opportunities that came my way during the following four decades. These were opportunities for personal and professional advancement, to be sure, including meeting my future wife, Amy, in 1984. But they have also been opportunities for serving the students of Fairfield Prep in a variety of ways.
It is natural, I suppose, that the fact that I am myself a Prep alumnus has meant that much of my present reflection occurs with a view through the lens of my dual status as an alumnus and the son of an alumnus, Harold H. Marshall ’49. (In fact, you might say that I was born to be a Prepster, as my birth announcement on the Alumni Notes page in the Easter 1955 edition of Bellarmine Quarterly lists my name as “Gregory Hugh Marshall, also of the class of 1973.”)
My career somewhat neatly divides into two almost equal halves: twenty-two years as a classroom teacher, and twenty years as an administrator. Both roles have provided me great joy and satisfaction, and in both roles I have been blessed to further the cause of Jesuit education in service to our amazing students.
I will always treasure the special rapport I had with my students, and to you I say thank you for the respect you always showed me, for the challenge you always presented me with your inquisitiveness and your insights, and the love for Prep that you have continued to show as Prep alumni.
Regarding my years as administrator, I say thank you to my professional colleagues, so many of whom helped me in my early years to learn how to be an effective leader in a Jesuit school. I also thank my colleagues who have always shown me the great love and respect that we enjoy because it is freely given to one another as partners in this marvelous enterprise.
And to Fairfield Prep’s many loving and supporting alumni and other benefactors, I say thank you for entrusting me with your generosity, as I in turn gave away your largesse (as financial aid) to generations of Prepsters whose parents would not otherwise have been able to send their sons here. I have considered this sacred trust to have been one of the most profoundly gratifying tasks of my professional career.
As I prepare to leave Prep, I am pleased to look around and see a new generation of leaders and teachers taking over. I harbor no fears or concerns about Prep’s future; rather, I leave fully confident that, much as the Fairfield Prep of today is a better place than the Prep of 1969 which I entered as a freshman, or the Prep of 1979 to which I returned as a teacher, the Prep of the future will be a better place still.
I will always admire, respect and love all of you, and I will always cherish the impact you have all had on me and the course of my life. And, of course, I will not be severing my ties completely, for as an alumnus, I will always be a son of my wonderful alma mater, Fairfield College Preparatory School.
— Gregory Hugh Marshall '73
Top photo caption: Greg Marshall is a proud member of the Prep Class of ’73, famous for its design and launch of the Bomb Squad logo shown on his original t-shirt. (Internationally renowned political cartoonist Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher ‘73 designed the artwork for this t-shirt as a student in collaboration with Betty Kachmar, the school’s first female faculty member and art teacher.) The t-shirt was created to be worn proudly at Fairfield Prep athletic games. Greg is pictured standing in front of Fairfield Prep’s stained glass window depicting St. Ignatius of Loyola sending his fellow Jesuit followers to lands near and far in order to carry out the order’s Christian mission of serving the world. Above his head, is the Latin directive and Jesuit motto, “Ite Incendite,” translated as “Go set the world on fire.” In 2008, Greg oversaw the design and installation of the four beautiful stained glass windows, which are displayed in the Gothic arched windows in Prep’s front entrance lobby.
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