Marvelle S. Colby
Time of Service:
Friday, 11:15 am, January 22, 2016
Place of Service:
Riverside Memorial Chapel
Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY
Marvelle Colby (Seitman), 83, passed away on January 19. She is survived by her devoted
husband, Selig Alkon, beloved children Lisa (Paul) and Eric (Ann), and cherished grandchildren
Owen, Jade and Ella. A successful educator, administrator, women’s rights activist, wife, mother
and grandmother, she was, above all, a woman who inspired others with her strength and
determination in overcoming obstacles.
Marvelle retired as Professor Emerita of Management at Marymount Manhattan College where
she taught for 25 years (and Chaired their Division of Business Management for 18 years),
following 15 years of diverse management experience including as the Florida Regional
Manager for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Human Services, Chairperson of the Dade
County Commission on the Status of Women, and Executive Director of the Girl Scout Council
of Greater New York. She authored and/or co-authored three books. Her significant
contributions were recognized by her election to the Hunter Hall of Fame and to Marquis’ Who’s
Who in America.
In 2000, Marvelle was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, which quickly spread to her neck
and brain. During the 16 years that she braved and battled this disease, she underwent 13
surgeries, but continued to live an active life. When her illness became known to her
Marymount Manhattan College students, alumni and colleagues, they established The Dr.
Marvelle S. Colby Endowed Scholarship Fund. The fund of over $100,000 helps underwrite the
education of needs-based business management students at Marymount.
Marvelle faced illness since she was 7 years old when her mother died of Hodgkin’s disease.
Raised by her mother’s family, she attended elementary school, high school and college in New
York City, where she was born. She graduated from Hunter College, where she was elected
President of the Student Self-Government Association, and years later, she earned a Master’s
degree in Urban Sociology from the University of Northern Colorado and a Doctor of Public
Administration from Nova University.
After she retired, Marvelle and Selig spent increased time in Naples, Florida where they enjoyed
attending a wide range of discussion groups and cultural activities. Until recently, Marvelle
continued swimming, having figured out how to compensate for the lack buoyancy due to having
less than one lung. Marvelle pursued lifelong advocacy on issues of importance to her, in her
later years, helping others learn from her experiences in surviving cancer. Marvelle was an avid
reader of both history and current events, always focused on how to make this world better.
She cherished her friends and the love they extended, especially during each of her life’s