Bluefield at 100 – Mark Toy

Welcome to Bluefield at 100! Bluefield College is celebrating 100 years and has undergone a name change! Each week, in honor of this milestone, The Confusing Middle will shine the spotlight on an individual who spent time at Bluefield University, giving them a chance to fill us all in on where they are and how they’ve been doing since the college years. I hope you’ll join us back here every week as we get reacquainted with some old friends!

This week we’re hearing from Mark Toy!

  1. What have you been up to since your time in Bluefield?
    Got married, had 3 kids, moved to three states for work. Tried to enjoy every minute of life.
  2. Where are you living now? For how long?
    We are in our 5th year now in Columbia, SC. Started out in Culpeper, VA for two years, then 10 years in the Raleigh area followed by 18 months in Northern VA before heading back south.
  3. Did you pursue any education after college? If so, what degrees have you obtained?
    Nothing other than required classes for work. Some finance and business classes and a bunch of classes about cars.
  4. Where did you earn your first “grown-up” paycheck?
    I was a counselor for juvenile offenders at a court ordered program for at risk youth. We did anger management and substance abuse counseling along with getting them to complete their court ordered community service. It was not a rewarding job when you are trying to get kids to do the right thing when the parents enabled them.
  5. Who is your current employer and what is your job title?
    For the last almost 17 years I have been with GEICO. I am currently the auto damage claims manager covering all of South Carolina.
  6. What are your hobbies? What do you end up doing in your spare time?
    Hobbies, who has hobbies with raising 3 kids and work???? Currently though I am fixing up a 1990 Ford Ranger for my oldest to learn to drive on in a year!!
  7. Have you done much traveling? Where have you visited?
    Went to Paris and Belgium not long after college for a week when my mom was stationed there for her work. Been on a few cruises, to Texas a bunch for work along with vacations here and there along east coast.
  8. Are you married? If so, who is your spouse?
    Kristen and I just celebrated 19 years
  9. How did you and your spouse meet?
    Blind date to Bluefield Homecoming my junior year
  10. Do you have children? What are their names/ages?
    3 kids. Davis who is about to be 14, Hudson is 11, Evelyn is 8
  11. Tell us a funny story about your kids…
    When do they not have funny stories. They are always cracking us up. Recently since working from home more I was in the middle of a day of meetings and I asked Davis to fix me a chicken wrap since he was fixing himself one for lunch. He did but he put so much ghost pepper sauce on it as a prank I had to get off the call I was on and recover.
  12. What was your favorite class at Bluefield?
    All of the CRJ classes. Especially criminal investigations. Honestly that is what got me interested in the work I do now with investigating claims and causes of loss.
  13. Which teachers influenced your life and made a lasting impression? Why?
    IS there any other than the amazing Kelly Walls and Kim Farmer.
  14. What was your major and/or minor?
    Criminal Justice
  15. What did you want to be when you “grew up?”
    I thought I wanted to be a cop… but as I grew up during college I knew I wasn’t ready for that at 21 years old… glad I didn’t but completely respect those that are… especially Jeremy and Ronchez who continue to serve.
  16. What was your funniest moment in college?
    I was such a dork and socially inept who knows
  17. What was your most embarrassing moment?
    Backing into someone’s car that was parked illegally along the road at Rish.
  18. What was the dumbest thing you did in college? Was it worth it?
    Leaving to go to ODU my sophomore year… It was worth it because I really grew up that year and learned a lot about real life.
  19. What is your most vivid memory from Bluefield College?
    Too many to count.
  20. Was there ever something you wanted to do during your college days but never did?
    I didn’t know at the time but going on a mission trip.
  21. What was your go-to during Late Night in the Shott Hall dining room?
    My future mother in law’s food… she gave me so many leftovers that my last semester I never went to dining hall for dinner.
  22. Did you play any sports?
    Me… sports… funny
  23. How about intramurals?
    See above
  24. Did you pledge with a fraternity or sorority?
  25. Were you involved in any other extracurriculars (theater, yearbook, clubs, etc.)?
    I got conned into setting up sound board for things. Ended up good as I can hide at church and do that now.
  26. What on-campus events did you enjoy participating in or attending?
    Being the campus security dork.
  27. Did you jump into the mud pit on Mud Pig Day?
    Of course
  28. Did you have a work-study job on campus?
  29. Did you have a job off campus?
    Summers at Best Buy and police dept. back home to earn enough I didn’t have to
  30. Which dorm did you live in? Or did you commute?
    Rish all years
  31. Tell us your craziest roommate story…
    The time I made Kool Aid freshman year when I was crazy after coming back from a weekend trip to Pigeon Forge and had to add some leftovers… Ronchez drank it and didn’t remember much the next day
  32. Which classmate influenced you the most?
    Chez and Justin. Good friends who really helped me grow. Wish I lived closer now.
  33. What personal experiences since college would you like to share?
    Took a trip on the company jet between two regional centers one time. Seating was by seniority. On the way back we added one extra person so I got pushed to the seat over the toilet for an hour and a half flight from Macon, GA to DC… flying sideway and on a toilet was interesting.
  34. What plans do you have for the next 10 years?
    15 more years ’til I can retire with a pension. Keep raising these three crazy kids and enjoy life.
  35. Give us a quote to live by…
    Do or do not… there is no try… Yoda

I want to thank Mark for taking time to answer all these questions and for sharing with us this week! Come back next week when another Bluefield survivor takes the hot seat!

And if you spent time at Bluefield College and want to participate, please reach out to me at and I will send you the full list of questions! Until next time, GO RAMS!


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