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Impact of Giving: Georgia Marshall
Impact of Giving: Georgia Marshall

When Georgia Leupold Marshall was a girl in Southeast Portland, her mother played violin, dad played piano, and her grandfather played flute. At Christmas, everyone sang carols. Some Sunday afternoons, her dad invited friends over for piano concerts.

“My dad practiced every day,” says Marshall, who is in her 80s. “I grew up hearing Bach, Rachmaninoff, just about all of the classical composers.”

Marshall has shared her love of music with generations of PSU students. The Georgia Leupold Marshall Endowed Music Scholarship supports full-time music majors with GPAs of 3.0 or higher.

Marshall also has contributed to other PSU programs and departments, including the Center for Women’s Leadership, the opera program and the Native American Student and Community Center.

But her connections to PSU go even deeper. Her late husband David taught biology. Nine children and grandchildren—eight of whom are pictured above—enrolled at PSU and a great-grandchild plans to follow.

Marshall also witnessed one of the university’s defining moments. She remembers escaping a restaurant with her sister and father when the two-year-old campus in the small city of Vanport fell victim to a historic flood in 1948.

“We were panicking trying to get out of the restaurant and get home so we weren’t stranded,” she says.

As a girl, Marshall took the streetcar to the Fine Arts Building downtown for piano lessons. “Oh my. I dreaded it. But I got to where I could play.”

Marianne Kersten, one of Marshall’s daughters, says her mother wants to give others the same opportunities she had as a girl.

“She has an incredible passion for people who love music and are talented but don’t have the resources for private lessons,” Kersten says. “She doesn’t want recognition. She does it because she’s deeply committed to Portland State.”

Through the years, Marshall has met the recipients of her music scholarship and each time she’s reminded of the impact that even small gifts can make on a student’s life.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to think I helped that person along the road,” she says. “There’s no better way to give, than to help somebody continue their education.”

Click here to read about one of Georgia Marshall's scholarship recipients.

For more information about supporting scholarships in the College of the Arts, please contact Katharine Reed, Director of Development, 503-725-3396,