With good humor, alumna Marsha East ’88 said that it was "age" that prompted her and her wife, Kate Webster, to make a planned gift to Pitzer College. But beyond recognizing that life is finite and that financial planning is important, they made a bequest to Pitzer because of the deep affinity Marsha feels for the College.
"One reason I keep giving and that we gave a planned gift is that I know my experiences at Pitzer helped shape who I am today. It seemed like the natural thing to do," said Marsha, moments after a current Pitzer student left her office—Marsha welcomed this student into her Chicago workplace through the College's Job Shadowing Program.
Understanding the importance of unrestricted donations for an organization, Marsha and Kate directed their gift to the Pitzer Fund. This critical fund supports financial aid and scholarships, academic initiatives and student services and programs.
Marsha credits Pitzer with helping her learn herself and the world. She spoke of the influential professors she had—including Alan Jones, Lew Ellenhorn and Judith Grabiner—and of the great opportunities available, such as studying abroad in Rome and serving as a resident assistant in Holden Hall. At Pitzer, Marsha also served on a variety of student committees and worked in the Office of Student Affairs: "I got to know Pitzer in a variety of ways," she said.
Marsha continues to be grateful for her Pitzer education and still feels its powerful and positive impact on her life today. She intends to remain a loyal donor to the College so that others can have similar doors of opportunity open to them.
"It was a good experience. Not always easy, but the exposure to so many people and ideas, the opportunity to succeed, the opportunity to fail, both of which are equally important, all of that changed my life," said Marsha, who had a long career in higher education and is now in association management. "What I learned in higher ed is that you have to work to sustain opportunities—nothing happens on its own, and if it means something to you, you have to give something back."