Former director supports Early Childhood Center with major gift

Portrait of Marie Macy and Lise Youngblade
Marie Macy, left, with Lise Youngblade, Department Head of Human Development and Family Studies

For 18 years, beginning in 1955, Marie Macy inspired countless children and students at the Colorado State University Preschool where she worked. Today, she is continuing her dedication to CSU’s youngest Rams through a generous gift to the Marie Macy Director’s Legacy Endowment to benefit CSU’s Early Childhood Center.

Macy’s gift added to the fund she created in 2015. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial support for pressing needs and improvements at the Early Childhood Center, a part of CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

“Marie’s role as director of the CSU Preschool was truly foundational to the Early Childhood Center as we know it today. We value her immensely, and are grateful for her ongoing support of our program and her inspirational commitment to children and families,” said Karen Rattenborg, executive director of the ECC.

Honor Alumna Award

Marie Macy at a podium speaking
Marie Macy at the Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony

In recognition of her longtime dedication to CSU, Macy received the 2017 Honor Alumna Award for the College of Health and Human Sciences, part of the CSU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Awards. Before receiving the Honor Alumna Award, Macy was featured as an honoree in the College of Health and Human Sciences Legacies Project.

Macy was born and raised in a farming community near Longmont, Colorado, with her four siblings. From there, she came to Colorado A&M to study child development. The name was changed to Colorado State University while Macy was a student. She graduated in 1955 with her degree in home economics.

After graduation, Macy served as assistant professor and director of the CSU Preschool, now the Early Childhood Center, where she was affectionately known as “Miss Marie.”  “My education from CSU has been good to me,” Macy said. “It’s always afforded me jobs and opportunities.”

CSU Preschool

The CSU Preschool had 22 children and the teachers were comprised of CSU students doing their practicums, who were supervised by Macy. The preschool ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Macy taught classes in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the afternoons, as well as advising students.

“I loved every minute of it,” said Macy. “I loved the children. I remember every child by name and some of them I still see today. They still call me Miss Marie.” During her tenure at CSU, Macy continued her own education journey earning her master’s in education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Nutrition educator

In 1973, Macy left CSU to work for the Dairy Council as a nutrition educator. Macy traveled in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, teaching nutrition courses to teachers and medical professionals. She also worked for the National Dairy Council in Chicago for two years developing and establishing nutrition education programs for elementary and junior high schools nationwide.

From her CSU classmates whom she still sees frequently, to her many volunteer roles and philanthropic contributions, Macy is a loyal and connected CSU alumna. Macy still meets weekly with a group of her CSU sorority sisters from her time as a student. Through the years, she has volunteered on numerous alumni and development committees for the College and University. She is a regular attendee at CSU events as well.

“The reason I’m still involved in Colorado State is the people there. They appreciate me. I’ve always valued and loved my experiences and my education that I received at A&M and CSU. I like to brag about Colorado State and encourage people to send their children here because of the many opportunities,” Macy said.

The CSU Early Childhood Center is part of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.