“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in others.” Marquis Duncan ’17 finds inspiration in this quote from Ghandi, but also sees the words as a call to action. “Knowing I may change someone’s life for the greater – whether it is a big or small way – is what drives my happiness,” he said. Duncan’s desire to help others began as a young man. He spent his summers providing food to Charlotte-area schoolchildren through a meal program and taught a free tennis clinic. Volunteerism is also a way of honoring those who have supported him, Duncan explained, like the people in his community who encouraged Duncan to pursue his education, even helping him pay his college application fees. Now a criminology and sociology major, Duncan serves as an intern at the Upperman African American Cultural Center, where he helps coordinate programs like the center’s weekly Black Friday event, a program designed to create social opportunities to improve community engagement. Duncan is also a peer mentor with the center’s Excellence Project, which supports incoming freshmen and transfer students through tutoring and mentorships.
In addition to his studies and his campus engagement, Duncan serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council, is president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, liaison of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and is a member of both the Student Media Board and the UNCW Votes Committee. “Being involved has diversified my experiences and given me knowledge of things that I may not have decided to venture into otherwise,” said Duncan, the 2016 Fraternity Man of the Year, an honor bestowed by the Campus Activities and Involvement Center and the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. Duncan hopes to pursue a career in higher education. His experiences at UNCW have laid a foundation for him to make a difference in the lives of others. “I want to leave a legacy of leadership and involvement.” – Venita Jenkins
“Being involved has diversified my experiences.”
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