As we continue with our Alumni Spotlight series we move back to the basketball court and take a closer look at 2017 graduate and Dickinson women's basketball alumna Mary Martin. Now pursuing a career in law Mary reflects back on her time in the Red and how the ability to adapt to constant change during her four years here proved crucial in her development as a person.
Mary grew up in Honesdale, Pennsylvania where she was a standout player at Honesdale High School. "I had never heard of Dickinson growing up," Mary said. "My AAU coach was the person who actually recommended it to me and thought it would be a great fit for me."
Seeing Dickinson towards the end of the summer sold Mary on this being the place where she would spend the next four years of her life. "I believe the summer or early fall is the time when this campus looks the most beautiful," Mary stated. Mary also really felt at home when on the campus and gives a lot of credit to former coach Dina Henry for making that happen. "While I was only there for one year with her, throughout the whole recruiting process she made me feel like there would always be someone there who generally cared about me and help me grow as a person."
During her four years in Carlisle Mary experienced changes at all levels. From a coaching change to a change in athletic directors to even a change in college president, which had a true impact on her and her development. The instance Mary talked about the most was the coaching change the program went through after her rookie season. "On a personal level I learned how to be a leader no matter what the circumstances were," Mary stated. She doesn't believe she would have gotten that opportunity to grow as a leader and learn how to cultivate a winning culture and team identity as such a young age had the coaching change not taken place.
Off the court Mary came to Dickinson believing she would be a pre-med student but quickly found a passion for something else, the law. Through sheer chance Mary took a first-year seminar class on medical debate and "really enjoyed the debate part more than the medicine part." Switching to a major in Political Science Mary was able to gain a more holistic educational experience and take classes in all different realms.
Mary would further her education post Dickinson by heading to law school, which to her was nothing new. "Both of my parents are attorneys as are my three older siblings, so law school is nothing really new for me," Mary said with a laugh. "I didn't help in deciding whether or not I wanted to go to law school but where I did need help was resume structure and getting letters of recommendation completed and written for me."
The opportunity to be part of such a small community aided Mary in her education and career ambitions. Through chance once again Mary took two classes with a local District Judge, who pushed her to think critically as well as taught the class very much like a law school as he would come in and ask questions right away and not lecture. "He really pushed us to think through our answers," Mary said. "He just did a great job further introducing me to the legal field."
Now living Boston, Massachusetts, Mary is a proud graduate of New England Law Boston and upon completion of the bar exam will go to work in the corporate law department of the law firm Nutter, McClenne, & Fish. No matter what chapter of her life Mary has been in, it has always been her teammates that have helped her stoke the fire of success that burns within her. "They are what kept me so true through all the coaching changes and ups and down," Mary said. "If you can do that with a group of people who you generally care about that just binds you together."
Martin had a great senior season, reaching the 1,000-point milestone against Franklin & Marshall. She became the first player in program history to record over 1,000 points, 650 rebounds and 200 assists. She was just shy of 700, ranking fourth with 698 rebounds in her career and dished out 201 assists to break into the top 10 in that category as well.
Martin finished with 1,014 points while also earning a spot on program top-10 list, hitting 234 career free throws. She broke into the line-up in her rookie season, playing in exactly 100 games and earning 92 starts in her career. Martin proved to be one of the most versatile players in the conference, ranking second in steals (60), fifth in assists (83) and 10th in rebounds with 181 during her senior year.
She was the Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year in 2014, a two-time All-Conference selection and a three-time member of the Conference Academic Honor Roll.
The Red Devils made back-to-back appearances in the Centennial Conference semifinals, posting an overall record of 18-8 in 2016-17. They won six straight games to close out the regular season 15-5 in conference play that season, earning the #3-seed in the tournament. They also broke the school record for three-pointers in a season, combining for 165 on the year.
To view Mary's exclusive interview with Assistant Athletic Director Justin Farrell click on the link below.