Marist School Names Band Room and Scholarship in Memory of Mr. Mark Craddock

On April 28, 2024, Marist School honored the late band director, Mr. Mark Craddock, by dedicating the band room in its Fine Arts building and establishing a scholarship in his name. Mr. Craddock, an educator at Marist for over three decades, fostered the talents of countless student musicians, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and inspiration within the Marist community.
In his remarks at the April 28 dedication, Marist School President J. D. Childs expressed, “As we reflect on Mark’s journey as a Marist educator, we are mindful of his presence to students and colleagues as well as his inspiration, service, expansive intelligence, and joy. In these things, Mark inspires educators today to both an excellence of practice and a generosity of care.” Childs invited those in attendance, and in the Marist community, to contribute to the newly formed scholarship if they had not done so already.

The Mark C. Craddock Memorial Scholarship has been established through the thoughtful generosity of many in the school community following Mr. Craddock’s passing after 31 years of service to Marist. Proceeds from the fund will provide tuition assistance to students with demonstrated financial need, with priority given to students participating in Marist's band program. The scholarship will nurture future generations of musicians at Marist, inspiring them towards unwavering belief in the transformative power of music, and the joy of community in that creative endeavor.

Alumni Chaplain Fr. Mark Kenney, S.M. offered the blessing for the newly named Mark Craddock Band Room, symbolizing the spiritual significance of the dedication. This room will serve as a lasting tribute to Mr. Craddock, whose direction of ensembles like the Marching Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble left an enduring impact on the Marist community. His commitment to excellence instilled discipline and a deep love for music in all who had the privilege of learning from him.

This influence was palpable during the standing-room only blessing and dedication ceremony, where current and former students, alongside colleagues, family, and friends, came together to honor Mr. Craddock and celebrate his life's work. Afterward, attendees were invited to a community-wide Family Mass in Young Gym in Centennial Center, where over a dozen alumni musicians and singers served as music ministers.

“Mark Craddock’s extraordinary gift for guiding students to musical excellence was an inspiration for all who knew him,” said Marist School Principal Mr. Kevin Mullally. “Naming the band room in memory of him is a small way for us to express our gratitude for the many years he lived the Marist mission and shaped the lives of Marist students through the power of music.”

Mr. Craddock’s outstanding contribution in the band room is being carried forward by Mr. Aaron Schmitt, who has assumed the role of band director, and Mr. Ben Barber, who joined Marist at the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year as assistant band director.

“Mark's legacy was the people he taught,” Schmitt said. “We saw that represented in every former student and parent who attended the beautiful dedication.”

Mr. Craddock will also be remembered for his service to Marist theater and his volunteer work for Marist’s Advancement Office. He encouraged fellow faculty and staff to contribute to the Annual Fund to help ensure the Marist mission, that he believed in so fully, would endure. He also was integral in developing and leading Marist’s student exchange program. In recent years, he devoted time to working with former Marist School president Fr. John H. Harhager, S.M., current vicar general for the Society of Mary, and other Marist priests in the hope of developing a student conference across Marist schools worldwide.

For his compelling acts of service to Marist School, Mr. Craddock was named the recipient of the MacGinnitie Award for Innovation in 2008, which gave his colleagues the chance to publicly recognize his initiative and innovation that did so much to further the mission of the school. He also was recognized by Marist with the Goizueta Chair of Excellence in 2018 for his innovative teaching, high standards of professional development, promotion of cross-cultural understanding and global interest, and involvement in student extracurricular activities.

Mr. Craddock touched the lives of countless students, colleagues, and friends, and the dedication of the Mark Craddock Band Room and establishment of the Mark C. Craddock Memorial Scholarship will serve as reminders of his profound influence on the Marist School community.

For those interested in giving to the Mark C. Craddock Memorial Scholarship, checks may be made out to “Marist School” and mailed to 3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30319. Please write “Mark C. Craddock Memorial Scholarship” in the memo line when making your gift.

View photos from the blessing and dedication.

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers