Family, friends, MSU Army ROTC dedicate Cadet Colby Marlow memorial tree

Contact: Allison Matthews

Christy and Cade Marlow pictured with the memorial tree dedicated to Cadet Colby Marlow
Colby Marlow's mother Christy Marlow and twin brother Cade Marlow are pictured at the memorial tree dedication on campus April 18. (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Close family and friends gathered Thursday [April 18] with Mississippi State’s Army ROTC Bulldog Battalion to remember student Colby L. Marlow, described as someone who “set an example to not just soldiers, but to everyone.”

A memorial tree was dedicated in honor of Marlow, a Carrollton native who was killed in a 2021 automobile accident during his senior year at MSU. The tree stands along George Perry St. near the Sanderson Center, an area ROTC cadets run by frequently during morning “PT” sessions.

Nick Murphy, MSU Army ROTC cadet and senior criminology major from Winona, gave remarks in remembrance of his friend who encouraged him in his own path to joining the military.

“I hope this tree stands as a reminder of the lasting impact that Colby has left on us. Let its roots symbolize the depth of our connection to him; its branches, the reach of his influence; and its leaves, the memories that we will forever cherish in our hearts. May this tree stand tall as a testament to the friendship that Colby shared with everyone … I am extremely grateful that I had the privilege of knowing Colby,” Murphy said.

The engraved memorial stone by Colby Marlow's memorial tree at MSU
Photo by Grace Cockrell

Professor of Military Science Lt. Col. Jason Posey said Marlow was a “shining example of dedication and leadership” and his “journey was defined by exceptional achievements and unwavering commitment to service.”

“His passion for service extended beyond his military duties. He was actively involved in several organizations, multiple honor societies, the Student Veteran Association and the Ranger Challenge Team. His dedication to excellence and his unwavering commitment to country and community inspired all who had the privilege of knowing him,” Posey said.

Also giving remarks was Marlow’s twin brother Cade Marlow, a first lieutenant whose path to the Mississippi Army National Guard and MSU Army ROTC mirrored his brother’s.

“Despite the short years of life that Colby had on earth, he strived to make the most of every day and live a life of example for everyone. He was a man of integrity, courage and patriotism. As I reflect on the two and a half years since Colby’s passing, I am extremely humbled and proud to see the impact that he made,” said Cade Marlow.

In addition to the memorial tree on campus, Colby Marlow’s legacy is being honored through an endowed scholarship.

“The scholarship will enable Colby’s memory to live on through cadets for years to come. I cannot express how proud I am to be an alumnus of Mississippi State University and its Army ROTC program,” Marlow said.

Learn more about the Cadet Colby Marlow Scholarship at

Click here to view more photos from the tree dedication ceremony.

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at