Memory of brothers killed in car crash lives on with mother’s gift to UF

GAINESVILLE, FL — In August of 2006, UF’s College of Education lost two of its most involved and beloved graduate students, but their memory lives on in a scholarship created […]


February 9, 2012



GAINESVILLE, FL — In August of 2006, UF’s College of Education lost two of its most involved and beloved graduate students, but their memory lives on in a scholarship created by donations from their mother, friends, faculty and fellow students.

The college’s counselor education program has about 150 students, but they all felt the loss of David and Brian Marshall, according to Ana Puig, a doctoral student in counselor education at the time and now an associate scholar and research director in the college’s Office of Educational Research.

The Marshall brothers were killed in a single-car crash on a trip back to Florida from their hometown of Gloucester, Mass. Brian, 31, was a pursuing an M.Ed./Ed.S. degree in mental health counseling  and David, 39, was working toward a doctoral degree in counselor education. Both were awarded posthumously in 2007.

Esther Marshall

Brian was one of Puig’s students, but she knew both brothers well. She remembers their generous spirit, something their mother, Esther Marshall, wanted to recognize with the scholarship. Esther took out a life-insurance policy and has pledged the benefit amount from her estate toward the $30,000 needed to create a permanent endowed scholarship.

“She wants to make sure the annual scholarship goes to counselor education students who are known for being like her sons were–always active, always involved, always helping other people,” Puig said.

College officials say the $30,000 goal hasn’t been reached yet, but Puig said faculty and students in the counselor education program still hope to raise the money needed to contribute toward the permanent endowment. Meanwhile, the college has already awarded a scholarship for each of the past five years to a deserving counselor ed student with funds contributed by others who knew, or have since heard about, the Marshall brothers and what they meant to the program.

The scholarship is open to graduate students of counselor education. Interested students can find more information on how to apply for the $500 scholarship at

The Marshall brothers were always together and known for their love of sports (especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots), their generosity and hosting Gator football game-day parties with New England clam chowder and chili.

David was founder of the Florida Center of Performance Excellence, a sports psychology counseling center. They both worked closely with athletes as part of their internship training and David developed a popular undergraduate course focused on sports performance.  The course was modeled after one developed by the U.S. Military Academy and augmented with material developed by the U.S. Olympic Committee.  Offered as an undergraduate elective by the counselor education program, it proved especially attractive to Gator student athletes, many of whom attended the college’s memorial service for the brothers.

David and Brian Marshall received their degrees posthumously in a spring 2007 memorial ceremony at the Norman Hall. Pictured from left during the presentation are former COE Dean Catherine Emihovich, Esther Marshall, Michael Marshall (Brian's twin brother), and former UF counselor ed assistant scholar Kitty Fallon.

They were both heavily involved in student organizations including UF’s student Beta chapter of Chi Sigma Iota International, the counselor education profession’s honor society, for whom David served as president. David even cut his famous ponytail to raise over $1,000 for Relay for Life, one of the organization’s fundraisers. He also won an international Outstanding Service Award from the group, in part, for this creative fundraising idea.

“If you needed something, you’d call Brian or Dave, and they’d come,” Puig said. “If you’d call one, the other would always show up. They were inseparable.”

As namesakes of the scholarship started by their mother, they shall be remembered that way for many years to come at the College of Education.


Source: Ana Puig, associate scholar and director of research, UF College of Education;; 352-273-4121

Media Relations: Larry Lansford, director of news and communications, UF College of Education;; 352-273-4137.

Writer: Jessica Bradley, intern, news and communications, UF College of Education.