Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Newsmakers: Aaron Marks ’00

Aaron Marks 2000

The Marks family: Amanda Marks; Ruby, 19 months; Aaron Marks; Oscar, 19 months; and Murray, 4.

Public school cafeteria food can be a nutritional nightmare, but when Aaron Marks ’00 realized that his son’s preschool was serving doughnuts and “breakfast pizza” to toddlers, he couldn’t swallow it. A local news web site, Patch.com, reported that Marks organized a group of parents, and within three years the City Schools of Decatur (Georgia) had given their breakfast and lunch menus a makeover. Marks’s activism caught the attention of First Lady Michelle Obama, who referred to it in a speech in Alpharetta, Ga., on February 9. He was in the audience when Obama mentioned him in her talk, which centered on the first lady’s Let’s Move campaign against obesity and unhealthy eating. Obama quoted Marks as saying, “You just can’t take no for an answer. You have to be tenacious.” A philosophy major at Wheaton, Marks is an attorney. He notes that his Wheaton experience came in handy in this situation: “Wheaton, specifically Professor [of Philosophy] Nancy Kendrick, encouraged me to keep digging into an issue until it either was proven true or false. She encouraged ‘relentless inquiry’ until the issue was resolved. I have that type of personality already, but it was good to have that encouraged by my most influential professor.”

Read more: decatur.patch.com