Columbia senior dies before graduation

By Campus Editor

While most seniors are preparing to start their professional careers, one beloved Columbia student’s life was tragically cut short.

Marcus Martin, a graduating senior television major and former president of the Black Film Society, died of a heart attack May 14, according to a WCPO Cincinnati report. He was 25.

Martin, a former film & video major and son of former Cincinnati Bengals player Mike Martin, was admitted into the hospital May 13 after experiencing shortness of breath, according to the report.

Bruce Sheridan, chair of the Cinema Art + Science Department, said Martin had taken a semester off from his film studies and was well-known by fellow students.

“He was a student who always had an opinion and always was part of the discussions that were going on in the department,” Sheridan said.

Tavores Johnson, a senior film & video major, said he met Martin during the college’s Weeks of Welcome in 2010. He said Martin had a cool, laid back personality but was serious about his filmmaking, adding that he was also an encouraging, approachable person.

Johnson said Martin was his best friend and that he and Martin would often have 2–3 hour conversations. Martin was working on several projects including a feature film script, shooting a pilot for a television show and creating a poetry documentary, Johnson said.

“Marcus was real fun and [when bad] situations came up, he didn’t get too worked up about [them and] tried to keep a calm head,” Johnson said. “This was the toughest death I had to deal with just because he was … my right hand man. [Martin was] my best friend, my brother.”

Johnson said he had talked to Martin for the last time on May 9. A memorial for Martin is still being planned.