Jamie Corwin ’14 becomes seventh generation on father’s side to attend Marietta
When Bill Corwin ’78 came to visit his son Jamie ’14 (Lakeside, Mont.) in September, he pointed out his old band seat.
“We had a college jazz band that was big fun,” Bill says. “I was telling Jamie, ‘This is where we rehearsed and recorded our album.’ ”
The trip down memory lane didn’t stop there. The father and son also ventured to Williamstown, W.Va., to visit the homes of a few other Marietta College alumni. “We went and drove around and looked at several of the houses where my great-grandparents lived,” Jamie says.
The Corwins come from a long line of Pioneers. Jamie is the seventh generation on Bill’s side of the family to attend Marietta College, with four of those generations being direct father-son legacies. The tradition began with Rodney Stimson 1847 and has often included multiple members of each generation. Perhaps the most notable alum is Alsoph Corwin ’28, who earned an honorary doctorate from the College and was a professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University.
The Corwin family tradition is rare and celebrated. “It’s not common to have that kind of a generational link,” says Hub Burton, Associate Vice President for Alumni and College Relations. “It’s just an incredible show of both support and appreciation for a Marietta College education.”
Despite the legacy, Jamie didn’t visit the school until he was 17. When he first saw the College, the image was much different than the description he’d heard from his father. “I think it’s true,” Jamie says. “It was a while ago, but my dad said, ‘Your great-great-great-whatever legacy would go to school in a horse drawn carriage on dirt roads.’ ”
While both Jamie and Bill appreciated the meaning of the tradition, neither felt he had to enroll at the College. “The legacy is important,” Jamie says, “but that isn’t the real reason I came here. If I went to another school, and the legacy ended, it would have been OK.”
Ultimately, both father and son chose Marietta College for the small classroom environment and the liberal arts education. Bill particularly enjoyed the close relationships he developed with his teachers. “On several occasions, professors would have some of us over to the house for a barbecue on a weekend and different things like that,” he says. “You got to know these guys not only on a classroom basis.”
Burton believes it is interactions like these that inspire Corwin-like legacies. “There’s a family atmosphere that I think encourages sons and daughters to come back,” he says.
But more than the relational aspect, it’s the scenery at Marietta College Jamie appreciates most. “It’s really pretty,” he says. “Here, I like getting outside.”
While he does miss the mountains of Montana, Jamie is excited to experience “a sense of culture and diversity” he didn’t get in his home state.
That’s exactly what his father hoped would happen. “I thought he should go away, get out of Montana, be around people from different backgrounds,”Bill says. “Because I know Jamie, I felt it was a really good fit for him.”
Although he’s only been here a few months, Jamie has jumped into campus life and is a member of Student Senate, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Students for Environmental Awareness, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and The Vine.
He’s also majoring in both Studio Art and Biology, although he’s not sure what he’d eventually like to do. “I don’t know if I’ll become an art teacher or a biology teacher or not a teacher at all,” Jamie says.
Whatever he decides, Jamie knows his family members in The Long Blue Line will be cheering him on. “That side of my family is proud of me. Of course, they would have been proud of me if I’d done something else, but they’re willing to support me,” Jamie says.
Bill concurred. “It feels good,” he says. “I’m very proud of him, but I would be wherever he went.”