PSU Mourns Passing of Former President Kasper C. Marking

September 13th, 2012 by blyndes

Plymouth, N.H. –Kasper Marking, Plymouth State’s president from 1977-1983, passed away August 30 in Texas at the age of 88, after a period of declining health. PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said former President Marking is remembered as a strong advocate for first-generation college students and for a beautification project that renewed pride in the campus.

“Many of the initiatives he supported are still hallmarks of the campus and of a Plymouth State education,” Steen said.

Dr. Kasper Marking

During Marking’s tenure, the institution saw significant expansion in buildings and programs, including the creation of the Music and Theatre Department, expansion of the Business department, renovation of Silver Center and Prospect Hall, and the initiation of the Society for Scholarly Dialogue and the Sidore Lecture Series.

“When I came to Plymouth the place was filled with energy, and people really wanting to move into a number of different programs,” Marking said in 1986 when he recalled his time in Plymouth. “If I were to list the three or four most exciting things that have happened to me since I came to New Hampshire, all of them happened at Plymouth.”

Longtime PSU Vice President for Student Affairs Richard Hage said he has great admiration for Dr. Marking.

“He referred to our students and their families as salt of the earth from working class experiences, and to PSC (at the time) as purely American in spirit,” said Hage. “I credit Dr. Marking for transforming the campus to a community of caring reflective of his own humanism, and for instilling in all of us a commitment to attend daily to the educational and human needs of our students.  Kas, as we affectionately called him, was our deeply caring friend who led us to a higher place.”

“President Marking instilled a tremendous sense of pride and excitement at Plymouth State,” recalls John Clark. Marking asked Clark, then a member of the student affairs staff, to take on the role of athletic director in 1980. “He laid the groundwork for a number of campus beautification projects, such as the alumni green, and was a tremendous supporter of the performing arts and athletics. He believed strongly that all of these things are part of the educational experience.”

PSU Art Professor Terry Downs also noted Marking’s positive impact on the institution.

Former Plymouth State President Dr. Kasper Marking, center, walks with students outside Speare building.

“He was a man with a vision toward the quality of life and of education,” Downs said.
“From his creativity and leadership he left a magnificent legacy in transforming this institution into the vital, dynamic and beautiful place it is now. His passing is very sad news.”

Dr. Marking assumed the Presidency of PSC in 1978, after having served as President of Briar Cliff College in Iowa.  Marking left Plymouth in 1983 to become Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire, where he oversaw the development of a system-wide energy conservation plan and a study for introducing technological innovations at USNH institutions.

“He was a kind and considerate person who valued personal relationships,” remembers Ed MacKay, current USNH Chancellor. “He built a foundation of mutual respect and dialogue among the University system, the governor’s office and the legislature.”

Marking was born in Edgemont, S.D.  After serving with the 11th U.S. Army Airborne Division in World War II, he earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Portland (OR), then a master’s degree from St. Bonaventure University, and a Doctorate in Education from Washington State University. His academic career spanned four decades, starting with his high school teaching in Idaho; his career path took him from Skagit Valley College to the University of Northern Michigan, Columbia Basin College, Minot (ND) State College, Briar Cliff College, and Plymouth State.

In his later years, Marking would say that one of his proudest accomplishments was that, like his mother before him, he had brought his love of education home to his family as well.  He is survived by sons Chris, Nick, Greg, Tim, Tom, and daughter Raissa.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or