Alumni Profile

Marcie A. Tulip

Marcie's Story

Marcie A. Tulip, this year’s Student Support Award winner, was nominated by her husband, H. Daniel Tulip, who earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, for her selfless support through his military deployments, health issues, and degree pursuit.

Dan of Greenville, Pennsylvania, began his path to earn a baccalaureate degree while serving in the U.S. Army. He learned about Excelsior College while stationed at Fort Drum, New York, and had already earned an associate degree from Central Texas College. However, he “worked all the while pecking away at his bachelor degree.”

He and Marcie met later in life, after Dan’s first deployment to Iraq. Marcie, an LPN, was working for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center near Dan’s hometown of Greenville. This was the beginning of a long distance relationship between New York and Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, during Dan’s second tour of duty in Iraq (three in total), his health had become compromised when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. “Marcie helped me overcome one of the most difficult barriers in my life by continuously providing emotional support and empathy during the most difficult of times. I not only survived cancer, I survived the emotional trauma of spending three and a half years in combat, a feat that I would have never been able to endure without the support of my wife.” While in Iraq, Marcie communicated with Dan by emailing daily, sending cards and packages, and by connecting with chance late night phone calls. Marcie wanted the constant communication to make him feel special and to let him know that someone was there for him. During this stressful time, Marcie faced her own health issues, a brush with precancerous condition. Yet, she recognized that Dan needed more support than she and didn’t want to burden him with her own health issues. Dan’s nomination letter cites, “Marcie’s selflessness is beyond reproach. It was Marcie’s instincts of providing positive nurturing that kept me going when I simply thought I could do no more.”

Marcie and Dan married and blended their families (each had three boys from previous marriages) in May 2009. The two of them place an immense value on their family and education. Dan’s closing line in his nomination letter states, “I will attend graduation, and on that day nothing would make me prouder than to see my wife recognized for the selfless service and support that she provides on a daily basis.” Now living “happily ever after,” they believe that “God placed each of us in each other’s lives and God will see us through any challenge.”

Marcie isn’t the only award winner in the family. Dan is also being recognized this year as the recipient of the Robert P. Mahoney Award.