As she embarks on retirement, Art Professor Marion Mercer will be fulfilling a childhood dream held by many.“We wanted our little girl fantasy horse farm,” she said of the 22-acre farm she shares with her sister, Anne, and several equines outside of Warrenton. Professor Mercer started off her professional life as a graphic designer, spending about 10 years doing magazine and illustration work. She then taught art classes at a Catholic grade school until she took some time off to care for her ailing parents. In between some of this work, Professor Mercer spent a year in England where she took a bronze sculpture class and another year dedicated to equestrian pursuits. When Professor Mercer first heard about the teaching opening at Laurel Ridge in 2010, “my heart at once rose and sang.” She knew she would prefer teaching at the college level. “It really was the perfect job for me,” said Professor Mercer. “The environment has been a very supportive, friendly, laid-back kind of working environment. I will very much miss co-workers and, of course, the students. Laurel Ridge has been just really happy. I will miss all of it.” While her parents are both gone now, Professor Mercer has a large family and friend circle, of which she can see more in her retirement. She also has her farm and horses to keep her busy, and plans to travel, and, “I keep telling everybody I want to grow up and be an artist.” “Mostly, I want to try to make some art and see if I can sell it,” she added.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.