from Atlanta's Turner High School in 1959, the future Judge Marvin
Arrington accepted a scholarship to Clark College, now Clark Atlanta
University, from which he graduated in 1963. Marvin played football
for legendary Coach L. S. Epps on both sides of the ball at linebacker
and right guard. These years were also the height of the civil
rights movement and Arrington's most influential professors included
the late C. Eric Lincoln. Marvin was initiated into Kappa Alpha
Psi Fraternity in 1961 forming friendships that have continued
throughout his professional life.
He supplemented his college expenses by working as a waiter at the
Piedmont Driving Club, on dining cars of the Union Pacific Railroad,
and in North Carolina tobacco fields. Upon graduation from Clark,
Marvin applied to and was accepted at Howard University. During the
summer after his first year at Howard, Arrington made a trip over
to the Emory University Law School library to study. While looking
at a bulletin board, a man approached him and asked "Can I help
you?". He answered "no" and explained that he was
preparing to go back to law school at Howard whereupon the gentlemen
asked if he had time to chat with him for a while in his office.
Arrington complied and after a few minutes, asked Arrington if he
would be interested in coming to Emory Law School, at that time an
all-white institution. Although Arrington loved Howard, he was quite
homesick and after finding out that the man who had engaged him in
the conversation was the dean of Emory's Law School.
Arrington immediately shared this information with another future
judge, Clarence Cooper, who had also matriculated with him at Clark
College. The scholars soon discovered that not only were they welcomed
at Emory, but also the State of Georgia provided some scholarship
assistance for Georgia law students who agreed not to apply to the
University of Georgia School of Law. Both Marvin Arrington and Clarence
Cooper transferred to Emory and graduated in 1967.