campus news and events

Colby-Sawyer College to Host Marc Elliot's 'What Makes You Tic?' Presentation on Tolerance

NEW LONDON, N.H., January 5, 2011 - Colby-Sawyer College will host Marc Elliot, a charismatic young man with a rare intestinal disease and Tourette's syndrome who travels the United States to speak about his life story and promote a compassionate “live and let live” philosophy to his audiences.

Elliot will present “What Makes You Tic?” in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Campus Center on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and the Cultural Events Committee, and the public is invited to attend. Admission is free.

Since he was a boy, Elliot has made others uncomfortable with his uncontrollable symptoms of Tourette's syndrome, which include involuntary movements, barking sounds, and offensive slurs and profanities. He seeks to enlighten others about how to deal with people with Tourette's syndrome and maintains that while his tics may offend people, they bother him more. “[These slurs] are the worst part about my Tourette's because I say things that I can't control,” he explains. Do not assume, he says, that you know what is going on with someone who appears “different.”

Following a mortifying incident with language when he was 16 that ended with his being kicked off a Greyhound bus, Elliot began to educate others about the challenges of living with Tourette's syndrome. He started by talking with his classmates and strangers he encountered in public. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, where he majored in biology, he turned his drive to teach others into a public speaking career. His compelling messages of tolerance and acceptance have expanded to include people from all backgrounds and types of disabilities.

Elliot has presented “What Makes You Tic?” at universities, corporate offices and public schools throughout the country, using his story to convey the message that people, despite their disabilities, deserve respect, compassion, understanding and tolerance.

For other upcoming events at Colby-Sawyer, visit

-Jessica McLavey '10

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000