OWU Home

Alumna Marian Rudd Leaves OWU $4.4 Million for Scholarships, Chair

November 12, 2003

DELAWARE, OHIO -- Arthur Sims remembers with fondness, family picnics in his grandmother's backyard as a child growing up in Cleveland, Ohio.

His godparents, Arthur and Marian Yocum Rudd, attended those gatherings and impressed the young Arthur with stories about their extensive travel experiences and their "keen interest in and support of education." Unbeknownst to Sims at the time, he would one day be the executor of the Rudd estate, $4.4 million of which has been recently donated to Ohio Wesleyan University. Several other Ohio universities also have received funds from their estate as well.

Following Marian's death in 2001 (her husband passed away in 1985), "we saw how carefully the 1928 OWU graduate had planned to provide for her alma mater," says OWU President Tom Courtice, explaining that the first designated allocation of $1 million has established The Marian Y. Rudd Chair in Music. The remaining $3.4 million will fund the Arthur and Marian Rudd Ohio Presidential Scholarships at Ohio Wesleyan.

"This is a tremendous asset to the University and falls directly in line with her wish that the scholarships be 'of a significant amount to a few, rather than a lesser amount to many.'"

A long-time supporter of Ohio Wesleyan's Annual Fund program, Marian's philanthropic spirit extended into the art world as well. After graduating from OWU in 1928, the Cridersville, Ohio native received a master's degree in art from Columbia University Teachers College in New York City, as well as diplomas from Ecole Beaux Arts in Fontainebleau, France and The Arts Student League in New York City. As a teacher, she was head of the art department at the Sandusky (Ohio) Public Schools and was an instructor at the University of Northern Colorado.

She married Arthur Rudd, a newspaper professional and close affiliate of the Gallup family, in 1938, and traveled extensively with him around the world. It was during these trips that she visited art galleries, museums and studios and acquired varied collections, some of which have been given to major museums around the country. But it was the Rudds' ongoing interest in furthering educational opportunities for students that motivated and inspired them and those who knew them.

"I look back at the fall during which I entered the seventh grade, and a special agreement I made with Arthur, my godfather," says Sims, remembering the journalist who promised to buy his godson a typewriter if the young Arthur passed a typing class that summer. "I did just that, and I used that manual Olivetti typewriter all through my high school and college years!