Family, friends, and MSU Army ROTC honor Cadet Colby Marlow with memorial tree

Christy Marlow and Cade Marlow, Colby Marlow’s mother and twin brother, are shown during the dedication of the memorial tree on April 18. (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A gathering of close relatives and friends, along with Mississippi State’s Army ROTC Bulldog Battalion, convened on Thursday [April 18] to commemorate the life of student Colby L. Marlow, who was hailed as an individual who “served as a role model not only for soldiers but for everyone.”

An enduring symbol, in the form of a memorial tree, was set up in honor of Marlow, a native of Carrollton who tragically lost his life in a car accident in 2021 during his senior year at MSU. This tree now stands prominently near the Sanderson Center on George Perry St., a route frequented by ROTC cadets during their morning physical training sessions.

Nick Murphy, a senior criminology major from Winona and an MSU Army ROTC cadet, delivered a tribute to his late friend Marlow, who had been instrumental in guiding him toward a military career.

“I trust that this tree will serve as a constant reminder of the enduring impact that Colby has left on us. May its roots signify the depth of our connection to him, its branches the breadth of his influence, and its leaves the memories that will forever dwell in our hearts. Let this tree stand tall as a testament to the camaraderie that Colby extended to everyone… I am truly privileged to have known Colby,” expressed Murphy.

Colby Marlow Memorial Stone at Mississippi State University
Photo by Grace Cockrell

Lieutenant Colonel Jason Posey, the Professor of Military Science, praised Marlow for embodying dedication and leadership, highlighting his remarkable achievements and resolute commitment to service throughout his journey.

“Colby’s sense of duty extended well beyond his military obligations. He actively engaged in various organizations, multiple honor societies, the Student Veteran Association, and the Ranger Challenge Team. His pursuit of excellence and steadfast dedication to his country and community served as an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him,” remarked Posey.

Cade Marlow, Colby’s twin brother and a first lieutenant, shared his thoughts, revealing how his own military path in the Mississippi Army National Guard and MSU Army ROTC mirrored that of his late brother.

“Despite his brief time on this earth, Colby sought to make each day count and exemplify a life of purpose to all. He embodied qualities of integrity, valor, and patriotism. Reflecting on the two and a half years since Colby’s passing, I am immensely honored and proud to witness the impact he had,” expressed Cade Marlow.

In addition to the memorial tree on campus, Colby Marlow’s memory is being honored through the establishment of an endowed scholarship.

“This scholarship will ensure that Colby’s legacy endures through future cadets for generations to come. I cannot adequately express my pride in being an alumnus of Mississippi State University and its Army ROTC program,” Marlow conveyed.

Discover more about the Cadet Colby Marlow Scholarship at here.

Click here to see additional photos from the memorial tree dedication event.

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