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Martin Powell

Martin Powell

On Sunday November 11 a large group gathered at Martin Powell’s house to celebrate the culmination of years of hard work: Martin had finished writing his book. The book is divided into three parts: a chronological summary of his life, his recollections about specific people who have had a large impact on him, and finally reflections from others about their experience with Martin. Many of us have been a part of Martin’s life and this book wonderfully paints the entire picture about his family, his involvement with Theta Chi, Madison House, Alderman Library, and the countless individuals who have contributed to his life. Fittingly, his book launch party was attended by many family, friends, caregivers, and Theta Chi’s of all ages.

Martin with Theta Chi’s of all years during his book launch celebration.

For those that aren’t familiar with Martin, he has cerebral palsy which limits him physically but his mind and memory are sharp. He is a lifelong Charlottesville resident and currently lives one block north of our chapter house. Despite the revolving door of undergraduates over the years, Martin’s relationship with Theta Chi was uninterrupted from the early 1980s until the early 2000s. After a long hiatus the house reconnected with Martin in 2013 under the guidance of long time Martin friend and class of ’94 alum, Perry Williams. 

Martin pictured with some current students and recent alums who gifted him with a personalized Washington Capitals jersey.

If you spent any amount of time with Martin, regardless of how long ago it may have been, I can’t encourage you enough to read this book. While this book is meant to show the impact the community has had on Martin, my favorite part is the third section which gives insight into the impact that Martin has made on so many people. The 181 pages are loaded with wonderful pictures.

Martin’s mother Angelika Powell, true to her librarian roots, is working to make sure that Madison House, Alumni Hall, and other organizations receive copies of Martin’s masterpiece for their records.

The Powells are in the process of signing and mailing copies out to those that have been a part of Martin’s life. If you’re interested in getting a copy there are a few options. You can reach out to his mother, Angelika Powell (, to Martin (434-979-0905), or to me at You can also purchase directly on Amazon via ISBN 9781728621227. If you’re interested in supporting the printing and shipping costs of this project, you can contribute via this Go Fund Me account and everything collected will go directly to Martin. 

I was teasing Martin about what he’s going to do with his free time now that his book is finished. He already has his next project in mind; after a long break he would like to start playing the guitar again.