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It’s a family thing: three generations of NSCC alumni

Photo of the Marshall family by a fireplace.
The Marshall family after their annual fall yard cleanup at Ross Marshall’s home in 2021.

“I don’t think you can live in Nova Scotia and not have a connection to NSCC,” says Linda Marshall. While this is true for many Nova Scotians, it’s especially true for the Marshalls, whose family has been intertwined with NSCC for the last three generations.

The extent of this connection was only discovered when Linda and her late father, Ross Marshall, shared memories of their college days in honour of NSCC’s 25th anniversary. 

“I don't think that everybody put it together how many of us have attended,” says Linda. “And it's like, wow, we've been doing this a long time!”

In 1965, Ross was the first in his family to graduate from NSCC after taking plumbing at the former Bell Road Campus in Halifax, but he was far from the last.

He had a successful career in the trade and continued to upgrade his education for over 40 years. “He did a lot of upgrades over the years, and he always did his courses at NSCC,” says Linda of her father.

Decades of alumni success

Largely due to her father’s career success, Linda has always been a huge advocate of a college education, even before she studied at NSCC.

“NSCC had a huge impact on my family. It’s helped everybody get where they want to be and work in the field they want to be in. It gives you such a good head start,” says Linda.

Continuing the family's tie to NSCC, Linda completed a certificate in Human Resource Management through NSCC's Continuing Education in 2000.

Linda credits part of her interest in HR Management to a project with the College. “I worked for a company that did all the office furniture for NSCC. I've seen how the College has evolved over the years, and how they put their people first – their staff and their students,” says Linda.

Linda’s spouse, Stephen Nearing, also shares a connection to the College, having graduated from the Land Use Planning program in ‘88 at NSCC’s Centre of Geographic Sciences (formerly College of Geographic Sciences). “I actually filled out his application form because he didn't know what he wanted to do,” says Linda.

Linda’s sister, Christine, graduated from Business Administration in ’84 and Cosmetology in ’86. After working in hairdressing for a few years, Christine’s path shifted towards a successful and long-standing career at Eastlink.

Brittany Kelly, Ross’s granddaughter and Christine’s daughter, was also drawn to NSCC for her post-secondary education. Brittany is a third-generation NSCC alumni and a two-time graduate of Graphic and Print Production (’11) and Drafting – Architectural (‘15).

Framed photo of Ross Marshall and his grandson after his preschool graduation.
Ross Marshall with his grandson, Ross Bartlett, for his preschool graduation.

A family legacy

Ross Bartlett, Linda’s son and Ross Marshall’s grandson, is the newest member of the Marshall family to graduate from NSCC, and received his diploma in Business Administration from Ivany Campus in June 2022. “I am proud to carry on a family tradition,” says Ross.

“I hope to build a successful, fruitful career for myself in financial services and eventually move towards an upper management role with a job that reflects my passions.”

The Marshalls have chosen to honour their connection with NSCC through an award in memory of Ross Marshall, who passed away earlier this year. Next fall, The Ross Marshall Memorial Plumbing Award will launch to support NSCC plumbing students.

“Ross always stressed the importance of education to his children and grandchildren,” says Linda. “He was always proud to be a tradesperson and believed a skilled trades workforce drives a successful economy.”