Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Marcia Spira Scholarship Fund

Our beloved colleague and friend Marcia Spira passed away surrounded by loved ones on November 1, 2022. To honor her memory, we are fundraising for a scholarship in her name, which will support a social work student. Please consider a donation by following the instructions below:

  1. Click this link to go to the donation page
  2. Fill out your gift amount and personal information
  3. In the "Tribute Gift Type" section, select "In Memory Of"
  4. Where it says "Who is this gift in honor or in memory of?" write in "Marcia K. Spira"

Thank you for your contribution honoring our dear friend.

Marcia was a respected clinical social worker prior to joining Loyola's School of Social Work as a professor in 1996. Her areas of expertise included clinical practice with older adults and families facing dementia. She retired in 2020, but continued teaching at the school as a professor emeritus. 

Her colleagues remember Marcia as a dedicated professor who maintained a passion for direct service and therapeutic work throughout her career. 

Marcia took on various leadership positions in the community and at the school, including serving as director of an institute within the School of Social Work that focused on older adults. She also stepped into the role of Interim Associate Dean for two years alongside her friend and former Interim Dean Susan Grossman, PhD, who said she was well-respected and a leader among her peers. 

“Marcia was an amazing person,” said Grossman. “Her students loved her, and she had an enthusiasm for teaching and life.” 

When new faculty members joined the school, they would often turn to Marcia as a mentor when teaching practice. 

"Marcia Spira was a mentor, dear colleague, and friend who I first met as a doctoral student in 2008," said Associate Dean for Research Michael Dentato. "Over the years, it was an honor to collaborate with her in the classroom co-teaching, via scholarship on several publications, and co-leading the LUC/SSW Summer Institute on Aging one summer with a focus on LGBTQ+ aging – which was a true dream. We then took our LGBTQ+ aging show “on the road” for a series of well-received community based trainings within organizations across Chicago. I will also forever be grateful for her contributions and chapter in my LGBTQ+ practice text and her chapter on aging. Marcia’s spirit was inspiring, her laugh and humor contagious, and her commitment to student training, development, and the profession of social work was always unwavering. I will always treasure our time together and the privilege of getting to know her beautiful family and closest friends."

She is survived by her children, Lauren and Daniel, grandchildren Blake and Jordan, brother Robert, and many cousins and friends. Her beloved husband and best friend of 42 years, Daniel passed away in 2021.

Please keep Marcia, her family, and all those lives who she touched in your thoughts and prayers. 


Our faculty and staff put together a short video of her time here at the School of Social Work. If you wish to share your own memories of Marcia, feel free to contribute to a Jamboard set up by her colleagues and friends.