40+ Years of Unwavering Dedication

09/11/2023 Alumni Spotlight

Mark Odom’s enduring commitment, limitless positivity, and extraordinary talent for discovering joy in every moment have not only left an indelible mark on McMurry University but also continue to radiate through his retirement.

While Odom attended McMurry, he served as the Athletic Equipment Manager for football, basketball, and track. With sports keeping him busy, he had no time for social clubs; however, his sister’s membership in Theta Chi Lambda led Odom and his brothers, Terry Odom ’79 and Opie, to become honorary members.  

During Odom’s time at McMurry, in Dr. Klassen’s chemistry class, he met his future wife. “Definitely the best thing that happened in my 45 years at McMurry,” Odom remarked. 

Upon graduating, Odom went right to work for his alma mater serving as McMurry’s first security officer from 1982 to 2022. He is also an unofficial historian of McMurry, if you need to know where to find something, ask Mark Odom! 

Throughout Odom’s journey working for McMurry, he has collected a treasure trove of stories. One such story began with a call from the Eastland County Sheriff at 2 a.m. informing Odom that there was a McMurry student stranded at a convenience store in Cisco. Odom told the sheriff that he would be there as soon as possible. After getting dressed he headed to Cisco, where he found the student sitting outside alone. The student got in Odom’s truck and as they headed back to Abilene Odom asked how the student ended up stranded in Cisco. The student responded that it was a pledging thing. Odom, confused, mentioned that this student was already a member of a club. The student then clarified that the pledges of his club kidnapped him and dropped him off in Cisco. To this day, Odom calls him “Cisco Kid.” 

The students of McMurry University touched Odom deeply with their stories, dreams, and personal growth, motivating him to commit 45 years of his life to the institution. Odom continues to follow the achievements of former students with pride, knowing that he played a part in their journies.  

He acknowledges the dedication of his colleagues, who, like him, shared a common purpose in making a difference in students’ lives. Their collective commitment created a supportive environment on McMurry’s campus.  

Now retired, he is embracing a world of new adventures. No longer confined to weekends, he and his wife are traveling to various NASCAR tracks, indulging in their shared passion for racing. Their journey has taken them to Daytona, Phoenix, Darlington, Texas, and COTA, making each race an exciting chapter in their retirement story. 

Scuba diving is another passion they have explored, diving on 10 Japanese WWII wrecks in Truk Lagoon, also known as Chuuck. Odom’s retirement bucket list is an ode to seizing every moment and savoring life’s treasures.  

Odom’s adventures continue as he cruises to car shows with his Little Blue Truck. In May of this year, he and Chris ventured to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for a Ford Truck Show. 

“I would not have traded my time at McMurry for anything, ” said Odom. His 45-year journey at McMurry is a testament to a well-lived life, filled with laughter, love, and the unwavering pursuit of adventure.

Do you or an alum you know have a great post-McMurry story? We’d love to feature YOU! Contact the Alumni Office at alumni@mcm.edu to schedule an interview.