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Retirement isn’t anything new to Marshall Kimball — but staying retired is.

In 2001, Marshall thought it was time to retire from the Marietta City Schools District as its legendary band director.

“That only lasted three months,” he says. “I was 51 when I retired from public schools and that was way too early. That lasted three months. I think my body is saying, ‘You can’t keep up this pace forever.’ I’m 69 now. And I feel like the music department is in a really good place right now. We have good people in place, good facilities, pretty much the goals that I set when I became chair three years ago have been met.”

Coming into the 2018–19 academic year, Marshall and his wife, Marcia, knew it would be his final year of full-time employment. Though he will officially be retired from teaching, he will work 10 hours a week as an advisor to the Music program to help with the transition in leadership.

“There are not enough words to describe the impeccable impact that Marshall Kimball has had on decades of students that have been fortunate to have been in his presence as a student, parent, band member (booster), friend and colleague,” says Education Professor Dr. Bill Bauer, who has known Marshall since the two taught in the public school system prior to teaching at Marietta College. “He was an advocate for inclusion at a time when it was not socially accepted. His leadership, by example, has touched many lives in ways...he will never know. I am so proud to have been a colleague of him in the public school system and the last few years as a team member at Marietta College.”

Assistant Professor Andy Francis will step in as Chair of the Music Department and a new Director of Bands will be hired. Assistant Professor Raquel Ravaglioli will continue her role as the Director of the Music Therapy Program.

Though in his final year as Chair of the Music Department and Director of Bands, Marshall continues to tackle major projects, including working toward reaccreditation for the Music Department through the National Association of Schools of Music, and the accreditation of the Music Therapy Program through the American Music Therapy Association.

“We are waiting for the next response from the American Music Therapy Association,” Marshall says. “We answered the questions that they had, and we just wait until they respond to us. The NASM report is finally at the home office in Reston, Virginia, and we’re supposed to get their first bounce-back to us soon.”

The NASM commission will vote on accreditation in its next meeting in June. During the review of Marietta’s program, the commission was impressed with the College’s facilities, the full-time staff and the adjuncts in the Music Department. There are currently six full-time faculty and 17 adjuncts in the department. Another full-time faculty member will be added in the fall.

But by that time, Marshall and his wife will be enjoying their time traveling to see grandchildren, testing out his new pushmower, and working on the home improvement projects they would like to accomplish.

“At the present time, I have no intention of working full time again,” Marshall says. “And I have three offices to clean out here, so I’m glad all of my offices are tidy.”

The biggest challenge will be learning how to relax after working 12- to 14-hour days for years.

“My wife, Marcia really encouraged me to retire because we want to travel and want to do things while our health is still good,” he says. “She’s been a very big part of this long career — she really has put up with me — and so I’m happy to be able to spend more time with her.”

- Gi Smith