Albion’s Greatest Cheerleader

“Albion’s Greatest Cheerleader” is remembered in bronze and stone on a plaque just north of the Albion Train Depot.  Sue Marcos, President of the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce for 24 years from 1985 – 2009, left a greater legacy than just this simple marker.

Sister City with Noisy-Le-Roi

Over the years, there have been close to 1,000 visits between residents of Albion, Michigan and its Sister Cities, Noisy-le-Roi and Bailly, France.  This international relationship was sparked by Sue Marcos, who had dual citizenship of the United States and France.  She also initiated the Albion Fete de la Musique celebration in Albion in 2007.

Albion students visiting Paris
These Albion students are some of the visitors to France, thanks to the initial efforts of Sue Marcos.

Gail Reed of the Albion Sister City Committee has suggested the inclusion in the branding campaign of one additional city asset: Albion’s dynamic relationship with Noisy-le-Roi/Bailly, France. “With local support, young people from Albion have a chance to go to France. They send visitors here – this summer a group is coming to bike Michigan’s trails. The French government has said that Albion’s sister city program is the most active one for their nation.” (source – article in The Recorder by Michelle Mueller)

In the month of June, we celebrate the Fete de la Musique, which is held on the first day of Summer on June 21, and the French Market, which is the third Saturday of June in 2019.

Albion’s Fête de la Musique

Albion’s Fête de la Musique was one of the first to take place in the United States. Sue Marcos, who was president of the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce initiated Albion’s involvement with the Fête de la Musique.  Albion’s early Fetes have been promoted worldwide on the international website, and also as a showcase for Michigan’s numerous fairs and festivals.
Fete de la Musique 2008 had music downtown on the same site of the current Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. Here, Kelly Kidder of Dickerson Music Co. performs with other musicians.

See videos from the Fete de la Musique here:

Albion French Market

The Sister City table at Albion French Market 2014, with Dianne Guenin-Lelle, then President of the Sister City Committee for Albion.

The Albion French Market was another spin-off from the Sister City group and began around 2009.  This event has had various locations and times but currently is held at Stoffer Plaza, the third Saturday of June.

Since 1998, Albion sister city committee member and French professor Dianne Guenin-Lelle has witnessed how the tri-city relationship has “blossomed” far past formal affairs and procedures. “We get out of this relationship some of the same things, which include lifelong friendships, deep relationships [and] learning so much about the world through our friends,” said Guenin-Lelle.  Source – Albion College Pleiad student newspaper

The Festival of the Forks

The Festival of the Forks is another event that benefitted from the leadership of Sue Marcos.  It has been a favorite time for visitors from France to come to Albion, to enjoy the rich cultural heritage of this annual event in September.  The Festival of the Forks, that began in 1967, was lead by a steering committee for many years.  By 2005, it was brought into the management of the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce and was given new life by Sue Marcos, the President of the Chamber.  She gained major sponsorships who enabled the Festival to attract top musical performers, and brought the Festival new talent and upgraded organization, with the help of her staff, and many Chamber members and other volunteers.

The Festival of the Forks, usually the 3rd weekend of September, is a favorite time for visitors from France to come to Albion.

Also in June, of 2015, we lost Sue Marcos.  We want to organize some of the projects she initiated, and nurtured, to show how much she influenced Albion, and an international sister relationship between three cities.

The Battle Creek Enquirer notes that Marcos majored in political science and French at DePauw.

“No stranger to work, from 1985 until most recently, she was the president/CEO of Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce. Along with that enormous responsibility, Sue made time to be involved in the community of which she loves. She was secretary, member of the board and the first woman president of Albion Rotary Club, co-founder, co-chair, then tri-chair of Greater Albion Alliance.  She also co-founded and was a member of the board of Albion High School Alumni Association. In 1986 she earned Albion Business & Professional Woman of the Year Award. For 15 consecutive years she was the recipient of the Michigan Chamber Professional Award. Along with other numerous accomplishments, Sue was also inducted into the Harry Bonner Multicultural Hall of Fame.”

The piece adds that Marcos has been “instrumental in promoting international understanding. Being visionary and having the will to succeed, Sue has facilitated the exchange of more that 2500 young people and adults from the United States and France first through Youth for Understanding, then through the Albion Sister City Committee.

“Sue, Nous vous saluons …We salute you.”

A memorial quote from Dignity Memorial told about Sue’s business that was in France before she came back to Albion.

After being (in her Paris restaurant) the friend, the sunday-nights dinners confident of princes and real marquises, she will remain a noble symbol of French/American friendship and “joie de vivre”.

Think Albion Think Music

This saying about music came from Sue Marcos, who also worked with many other music events.

Sue loved music as well as food. She was instrumental in the revival of the Albion bandshell concerts with the new “Swingin’ at the Shell” Sunday night series, that just celebrated its 15th anniversary.

The people of Albion, and those of our Sister Cities Noisy-le-Roi, and Bailly, are indebted to Sue Marcos, for her contributions to our “joie de vivre.”

The city of Albion’s Sister City Committee recognized its founding chair, Sue Marcos, in a special ceremony Tuesday, March 4, at City Hall. Click the image to read the full article

“I had no idea how far it could go,” said Marcos about the Sister City relationship.

Links about the Sister City history from

Official Links about the Sister City Relationship

Albion College

City of Albion –