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Student kindness inspires donor to fund scholarship

March 10, 2011

  • News Image
    Marion Beals poses in front of one of her own paintings.

It’s not unusual for a student to offer assistance to a campus visitor.  But we now have proof that a simple act of kindness can result in a major gift. Lewis & Clark has welcomed a series of gifts from the estate of Marion Beals, a long time friend of the College, who said she never forgot the kindness of one student.

Her story went something like this: after attending an event on the Lewis & Clark campus (most likely the international fair which she loved), Marion and her husband went to their car to discover it wouldn’t start. It was dark and rainy. A student approached them and asked if they needed help. The student contacted campus safety who quickly came and started the vehicle, and sent the couple on their way.  Marion never forgot the kindness of that student.

Marion Beals and her husband had ties to University of Washington, but came to Lewis & Clark to enjoy our international events. They had no children and traveled extensively and loved all things international. Taken by Lewis & Clark’s efforts to both send our students overseas and to welcome international students to campus, the couple established a series of planned gift with the College. Their intent was to fund a scholarship to benefit Lewis & Clark students traveling overseas. 

Chester passed away some years ago, Marion just one year ago. At her death, the College received the corpus of two trusts, a charitable gift annuity, and the proceeds from the sale of her home. The gifts totaled more than $300,000 and will help underwrite students each year to the tune of $14,000.

Coincidentally, a Lewis & Clark alumni couple purchased Marion’s home in a retirement community in Vancouver, WA, and the spirit of Lewis & Clark lives on in that dwelling. 

Submitted by Sharon Bosserman-Benson, director of planned giving.