In the fall of 1967, Marcus Martin became the first African American player on the NC State football team, on which he was a defensive back until 1969. A native of Covington, Virginia, he earned a bachelor’s degrees in pulp and paper technology (1970) and chemical engineering (1971). After graduation became a founding member of the university's Board of Visitors, and he was the commencement speaker at the Fall 1997 graduation exercises.
A member of the charter class of Eastern Virginia Medical School and their first African American graduate, Martin earned his medical degree there in 1976. He has had a long and distinguished career at the University of Virginia. He is a professor and past chair (1996-2006) of UVA's Department of Emergency Medicine. In 2009 he was appointed UVA's Interim Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity and in 2011 was appointed Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity.