Five students studying in the University of New Hampshire’s College of Life Sciences and Agriculture have been selected as the inaugural class of Marble Scholars for the 2013-2014 academic year. The Marble Scholars is a prestigious new scholarship program created through the estate gift of Marilynn K. Rumley, a UNH alumna who graduated in 1952. Through her estate gift of more than $1.1 million, the Charles F. Marble Scholarship Fund was created to provide scholarship support to students enrolled in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, with preference given to students from New Hampshire.
The first recipients are Leah Tarleton, Derry; Christine Hebert, Pelham; Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Davila, Leominster, Mass.; Abigail Van Note, Scarborough, Maine; and Andrew Phinney, Bow.
“It is gifts like this which dramatically increase our ability to make an outstanding education affordable to deserving students, regardless of their financial circumstances,” says Debbie Dutton, president of the UNH Foundation. “We are truly grateful for Marilynn’s generosity. It makes a tremendously positive impact in the lives of the student recipients.”
Miss Rumley began a scientific career in the late 1950s when the sciences were largely closed to women. She worked for many years as a research scientist for the departments of biological chemistry and neurology at the Harvard Medical School. Working alongside Dr. Eugene P. Kennedy and Dr. L. Lahut Uzman, she co-authored numerous scientific articles and shared awards for their ground-breaking research in cellular and molecular biology.
Deeply committed to education, she encouraged her sisters, cousins and friends through their college experiences and careers. “I never would have enrolled in the nursing program at Massachusetts General Hospital without ‘Sissy,’” says her sister, Susan Berry Novros. “She nurtured me through the application process and all through school. And if it hadn’t been for grant-in-aid, I couldn’t have paid the tuition. I am so pleased that my sister’s estate will help students. Just as she did during her whole life, she continues to nurture and contribute to the well-being of others.”
Charles F. Marble, for whom the scholarship is named, was Miss Rumley’s maternal grandfather. She was very close to her grandparents, Charles and Mary Marble of Mexico, Maine. They were instrumental in fostering her love of learning, reading and a sense of wonder in new discoveries. It was their perseverance in hard times and love of family and friends that set the tone for her life. Her grandfather was an avid mineralogist and together they would go to mines and search for stones. They shared a scientific mind and understood the importance of slow and meticulous work to reach a hoped for positive outcome. That, say family members, became evident in her research and life.
The Marble Scholars will serve as ambassadors for the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and help to carry on Miss Rumley’s legacy of mentorship and commitment to education and exploration.