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Marsha Valentine Nelson (C’79)

Marsha Valentine Nelson

An All-American in the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard backstroke, Marcia held the school record for the 100 for over 30 years. The countless hours she spent in the pool during unbearably cold winter days paid off her senior season, when Marcia swam into third place in the women’s small-college state meet, where she competed in the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard backstroke, 500-yard freestyle, and 200-yard butterfly. Marcia was a four-year letter winner in swimming and received the 1979 Howard L. Mitchell Award, given to an outstanding senior athlete.

Thirty-one years after graduating from Principia, having raised four children, Marcia embarked on a new educational journey. She became a registered dietitian and then earned a master’s degree with an emphasis on sports nutrition. Marcia continues to swim and recently broke the 100-yard backstroke record for her age group in the New England area. She and her husband, Tad (C’78), live in New Hampshire and enjoy running, hiking, and snowshoeing. Their current challenge is to climb all 48 mountains in New Hampshire that are 4,000 feet or higher.