Marion Isabella Whitney was born on April 23, 1911. She earned her B.A., with a major in Geology and a minor in Botany, her M.A. in Geology, with a minor in Botany and Zoology, and her Ph.D. in Geology, all from the University of Texas.
In September 1961, Marion was hired as a geologist in the Biology Department of Central Michigan University (CMU). During the 1970-1971 academic year, she earned the status of full professor.
Besides Prof. Whitney’s papers, the Clarke also has a copy of her children’s book, Juan of Paricutin, documenting the 1953 volcanic eruption in Paricutin, Mexico. Before writing the book, Prof. Whitney traveled to Mexico, where she witnessed and photographed the eruption and resulting destruction.
Prof. Whitney taught at CMU until she retired on May 9, 1981. While working at CMU, she lived in Shepherd, Michigan. Professor Whitney died on September 16, 1998 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.