By Lauren Tucker ('00)
On July13, 2001, the JMU Department of Political Science and the extended university community lost a truly wonderful professor with the death of Dr. Marion Doss.
Extremely intelligent and always ready to tell interesting stories from his own experiences, Doss was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who also earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard along with juris doctor and master degrees in law and taxation from William and Mary.
I learned a lot about criminal justice in his classes. His lectures were informative and supplemented with projects like attending local court hearings to broaden the scope of our learning. Students could always count on him when they needed help beyond the classroom, and he unselfishly gave of his time to serve as the faculty adviser for the JMU criminal justice fraternity Lambda Alpha Epsilon.
I may not remember every criminal law statute or all the textbook knowledge Dr. Doss taught me; however, I will, never forget the life lessons I learned from him, and I will always be thankful for his approach to helping students and encouraging them to think for themselves. No matter whether in or out of the classroom, students always knew they could count on him when they needed help.
While Dr. Doss was not one to impose his personal opinions on students, he did, however, always encourage students to think for themselves. At times, he also went out of his way to help his students. A good example of that was when I was trying to decide which field in which to pursue my master’s degree. Dr. Doss not only came in to help me decide, he also wrote letters of recommendation for me.
Now, I am in a wonderful criminal justice program at Eastern Kentucky University, yet I never would have found this place without Dr. Doss’ direction and support. I am very appreciative for everything I have learned from him, and I know he will be greatly missed.