Classic Sendoff for CMU Legend

Marcy Weston
April 27, 2015 Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- It was vintage Marcy Weston.

Frank, energetic, effervescent, witty, graceful.

"This is a little overwhelming, and I don't get overwhelmed very easily," Weston said to the crowd of some 300 who gathered Monday night at Central Michigan's McGuirk Arena for the Marcy Weston Gala Celebration. "I'm going to miss everybody because I love people. Everybody in this room has touched my life."

And they were there because she had touched theirs -- her former student-athletes and her colleagues from an illustrious 42-plus year career spent in coaching, administration and officiating.

They came from far and wide -- representatives of the NCAA and CMU's Mid-American Conference brethren were on hand -- along with so many who, like Weston, have given their all, and then some, to CMU.

They were there to honor Weston, who retired this spring as one of the iconic figures in Central Michigan athletics history, serving first as a physical education instructor and coach, then as a long-time administrator. She worked tirelessly and diligently all the while to advance the cause of intercollegiate athletics in general and women's sports in particular.

She also built a tremendous career as a basketball official, and she approached every endeavor, day in and day out, with the same pragmatism and preparedness, the same dignity and pride, the same consistent and steady drive, that she displayed Monday night on the McGuirk Arena stage and behind the podium.

"I could go home every day for 42 ½ years and look myself in the mirror and know I didn't cheat, I didn't lie, and I didn't compromise my ethics," Weston said, "and nobody ever asked me to."

To all in attendance, Weston was so much more than titles, trophies, accolades and wins or losses.

She was, and is, an inspiration.

Marie Tuite, who played basketball and field hockey for Weston-coached teams at CMU in the early 1970s, was one of several who addressed the crowd.

"Marcy just has always carried herself so well professionally, a great deal of class and grace," said Tuite, who is the Deputy Director of Athletics at San Jose State University and considers Weston a very close friend. "She was the kind of coach that got you to believe in yourself, partly because she believed in us so much.

"We loved Marcy because she loved us. As I have advanced in my career, I often think of things that Marcy said and did that had such an impact on me. My entire life, she's been my first call."

The event included several standing ovations and heart-felt remarks by CMU Vice President Kathleen M. Wilber, who served as the emcee; CMU President Dr. George E. Ross; CMU Associate Vice President/Athletic Director Dave Heeke; and Tuite.

Words such as energetic, legacy, spirited, leader, funny, enthusiastic, humble, perspective and compassion filled the arena as they honored a woman for her four-plus decades of service to the university, as pioneer for women's intercollegiate athletics, and as a staunch unwavering advocate for student-athletes and the noble ideals that athletics play in the educational process.

"Marcy Weston is an extraordinary woman who has provided outstanding leadership and service during her 40-plus-year career at Central Michigan University," Wilber said in reading a statement from President Ross, who was ill and could not attend the event. "She is a mentor and leader for women in higher education, and her contributions have had local, regional and national impact. ... Marcy has been a tireless contributor to advancing CMU, our students, and the athletics department."

Weston's name will be the third on the CMU Pioneers in Women's Sports Endowment, joining Jane McNamara and Weston's mentor, Fran Koenig.

Weston also received a gift basket that included Waterford Crystal vase commemorating her years at CMU and an all-expenses trip to California wine country.

"Her legacy is unmatched and I'm just grateful that I came along at a time that I got to benefit from being around her," said Jacquie Joseph, who was a four-year letter winner at CMU and is now in her 22nd season as the softball coach at Michigan State.

"Marcy just had a way of relating to people even when we were young. She was so non-judgemental and she really had a way of reaching you and making you feel important and valued while teaching you hard lessons. I just think she really had a gift."

"Every one," Heeke said, "matters to Marcy. Marcy's that rock-solid person who has always stood behind our student-athletes, our coaches, and our staff."

And on Monday, they stood in front of her, to display their deep appreciation for a job well done.

Very well done.
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