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Marvin Denson ’93 Serves as IUP Keynote


Marvin Denson with Theo Turner, left

In May 2019, Marvin Denson ’93 served as keynote speaker at IUP’s Crimson Salute, a pre-commencement ceremony that recognizes the accomplishments of students of color.

Denson is regional director of dining operations for Erickson Living, which manages and develops retirement communities; founder and senior pastor of Restoration International Worship Center; and presiding bishop of Covenant Churches of America.


Denson taking a selfie with the Crimson Salute audience

He shared with students experiences from his career to illustrate the importance of support systems and mentors, as well as the need for students to stand up for themselves, negotiate what they’re worth, and make previous generations proud.

He said his late father earned an MBA online at age 75; the achievement inspired Denson to get an MBA also and led his younger brother, Damon, who played for the New England Patriots in the 1990s, to complete his degree.


Denson with James Watta, right, student programming coordinator

At IUP, Marvin was a member of the football team that advanced to the national championship game in 1990. He and his wife, IUP alumna Michele Ayres Denson, live in Maryland and have two adult children and a granddaughter.