Celebrating a life well lived: Scholarship honors lifelong business professor

Marvin Tucker

High school sweethearts Patricia and Marvin Tucker from Paducah, Kentucky, enjoyed a life well lived. Married young, the couple attended Western Kentucky State University together, where they both received bachelor’s degrees. Following that, they moved to Indiana where Marvin earned his master’s in accountancy. Upon graduation, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. in accounting at the University of Alabama.

“Legendary football coach Bear Bryant and (quarterback) Joe Namath were making history at Alabama,” Patricia said. “Marvin and I got $1 tickets to every game, and we got to watch two iconic figures change college football forever. It was a magical time.”

Marvin received his Ph.D. in accounting in 1966 and was courted by several universities. He chose SIU because of its midwestern values and proximity to hometown Paducah.

Marvin began his career as an assistant professor but quickly rose through the ranks to become full professor. During that time, he helped establish, and later directed, the university’s Master of Accountancy program.

“Marvin loved SIU, loved his students, and he loved that program. He was one of the few professors who had extended office hours – his door was always open to students. The students loved Marvin,” Patricia said. “His goal was always to try to change the life of a student who may not have had the ability to do it on his or her own.”

Marvin had numerous scholarly publications, and he co-authored three books. He was a member of the National Association of University Professors, the American Management Association, the Illinois Retired Teacher Association, and the American Accounting Association.

The Tuckers embraced the Carbondale community. Marvin coached Little League while their three sons were growing up. Marvin also loved his church and church family, serving as deacon and greeter at University Baptist Church. He was also active in the hospital auxiliary. The family thrived in their neighborhood, enjoyed the schools in Carbondale, had season tickets to Saluki football games, and often went to the Rec Center to swim and rock climb.

When Marvin retired from SIU after 32 years, he and Patricia drafted their will.

“We gave a copy to the dean of the SIU College of Business at the time. In the will, Marvin stipulated that if he predeceased me, I would set up a scholarship for the SIU Master of Accountancy program. He wanted the decision of choosing the scholarship recipient to come from the faculty so they would know the students and their backgrounds,” Patricia said. “It was quite a bit of money, but while I was Marvin’s first love, SIU was definitely his second love. We both felt good about our decision to give back and help future students succeed. We lived a blessed life, and I thank God for it every single day.”

Terry Clark, dean of the College of Business and Analytics, shared his appreciation for the Tuckers’ generosity.

“The Tuckers’ gift to the College of Business and Analytics is visionary. Its impact on the lives and careers of students will resound for generations. Marvin had an outstanding career with our college,” he said. “His kindness and dedication linger with us. We are so grateful for Marvin and Patricia’s generosity. Through this scholarship, he and Patricia continue to reflect the spirit of giving that has been their legacy.”

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