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Flagler Forward | Inspired by the value of a Flagler experience: Parents of current Saint fund Theatre accessibility and establish planned gift for the College

Oct 20, 2023
by Becky Short

Lin and Mark Nash understand the value of a good education.

Darby Nash
Darby Nash

Lin has earned her MBA degree, her credentials to practice as a Physical Therapist, and comes from a family that’s been deeply engaged in governance of New York’s Alfred University. Mark has spent nearly 40 years as a senior researcher in spinal cord injury medicine.  

Their daughter, Darby, currently attends Flagler, and the family has taken a keen interest in supporting the College.  

“We understand the benefit of a college degree on a person’s life and future job opportunities,” Mark said. “However, Flagler’s small class sizes, faculty and staff dedication, and student and parent engagement make it more than just a place for our children to earn a degree.”  

Of particular importance to the Nash family is Flagler’s accessibility and commitment to addressing parent concerns.  

Darby Nash in
Darby Nash in "Cinderella"

Darby is pursuing degrees in Theatre Arts and American Sign Language (ASL) and performed in last April’s “Cinderella” production. Because of Darby’s personal interest in ASL, Lin and Mark engaged the College to use ASL interpreters for theatre-going audiences with hearing impairments who live near the college and for students at the Florida School of the Deaf and Blind.  

In the process, they elevated Flagler to be a better partner for the community and enhanced the significance of the production for the performers.  

“The College acknowledged our request to do more than just accept a check for the production of ‘Cinderella’,” Mark said. “They acted on our request to support a ‘greater good,’ where other institutions might not have. Our partnership took some work and planning, but Flagler actually listened.”    

ASL interpreter at production of
ASL interpreter at production of "Cinderella"

Like many Flagler families, the Nashes have benefited from the College’s personalized touch. When they moved Darby into her dorm during the COVID pandemic, Lin was impressed by how engaged Former President Joyner was in the process.  

“We remember the President being present and personable during the move-in weekend, we were amazed,” Lin said. “The sense of distance you experience at other institutions just didn’t exist at Flagler.”  

Lin and Mark Nash were subsequently inspired to join the Family Leadership Council (FLC), a group of current Flagler families who volunteer, become involved in the life of the College, and help improve the Flagler experience.   

“We’ve enjoyed meeting people and helping Flagler understand and address issues from our viewpoint,” Mark said. “There are all sorts of ways to create a legacy here, and we like helping build for the future while knowing young people will benefit.”  

Lin and Mark’s dedication to Flagler’s future led them to establish a planned gift. Their “belief in the College’s vision” and desire to pass on what they have spent their lives working for will provide funding for program enrichment across disciplines.   

“Sometimes there isn’t a place for donors who have interests beyond just brick and mortar and who want to see programs evolve to their fullest potential,” Mark said. “Schools that are properly sized, that pay attention to quality education, and that engage their stakeholders in shaping the curriculum and novel education programs represent a best model for the future of higher education.” 

The Nash family feels strongly that Flagler fits this description. They said the College’s emphasis upon transformative learning means that its curriculum offers a unique and ever-evolving blend of quality instruction, mentorship, and high-impact social engagement.  

“Flagler is exceptional without being bloated or losing sight of its mission,” Mark said. “It feels good to invest in a school that cares this much and is so effectively tracking for Darby’s future.”  


For more information on how you can make an impact by establishing a planned gift at Flagler College, contact Nicole Pece, Director of Development & Gift Planning, at or 904-819-6406 

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