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ESF Celebrates Bob Marshall's Legacy


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) will celebrate the 100th anniversary of nationally renowned outdoorsman Bob Marshall's birthday Jan. 19.

Marshall, a 1924 graduate of the college, will be honored along with his father, Louis, the first president of the college board of trustees and a leader in the effort to protect wilderness lands in the Adirondacks and Catskills.

Members of the extended Marshall family are expected to attend the festivities. Among them are Syracuse City Judge Kate Rosenthal and her parents, Charles and Ann Rosenthal of Binghamton. Charles Rosenthal is the grandson of Louis Marshall's sister.

Both Marshalls were proponents of wilderness preservation. Bob Marshall is widely known for being one of the first people - along with his brother, George, and their guide, Herb Clark - to climb all 46 Adirondack High Peaks. He also hiked extensively in the West. The sprawling Bob Marshall Wilderness, which includes more than a million acres of pristine wild lands straddling the Continental Divide in northwestern Montana, is named for him.

After graduating from the college, Marshall worked as director of the Forestry Division of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and as chief of the Division of Recreation and Lands within the U.S. Forest Service. He wrote several books and articles about wilderness and the need to protect it from development. Marshall died in 1939 at the age of 38. His father was a leading force in the founding of ESF. Louis Marshall was a native Syracusan who was a famous civil rights lawyer with a practice based in New York City. During the 1894 state constitutional convention, he helped develop the article that established the state forest preserve. After the college was founded, Louis Marshall served as president of the board of trustees for 18 years. The second building constructed on the ESF campus, Louis Marshall Memorial Hall, was named in his honor.

The following special events will be part of the Jan. 19 celebration:

2 to 4:30 p.m.: Symposium on eastern wilderness issues, Alumni Lounge, Marshall Hall. Speakers will be Rebecca Oreskes of the U.S. Forest Service, discussing "Wilderness Stewardship and Management in the Northeastern United States"; David H. Gibson, executive director of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, discussing "Adirondack Wilderness Preservation"; and James M. Glover, a professor at Southern Illinois University, discussing "A Wilderness Original: The Life of Bob Marshall."

4:30 p.m.: Unveiling of a commemorative plaque of Louis Marshall by ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., in the entrance to Marshall Hall.

5 p.m.: Student celebration of Bob Marshall's 100th birthday, Alumni Lounge.

5 to 10 p.m.: Reception and dinner at the Sheraton University Hotel & Conference Center. Murphy will unveil a plaque to be hung later in Marshall Hall in honor of Bob Marshall. Perry Brown, dean of the University of Montana School of Forestry, will speak on "Wilderness Management in the United States."