Marian Swortzel's fond memories of Holland and Hope College from youthful visits to the family's cottage at Macatawa Park led her to provide support in her will to enable students from her California community o attend the college.
Swortzel, who died on April 26 in her 80s, has
designated that $100,000 per year for 30 years be set aside
from her estate to cover the cost of a Hope education for
students who are Madera County, Calif., residents and attend
either Sierra or Yosemite high school. She was a resident
of Bass Lake in the county, which lies north of Fresno in
central California, in the foothills of Yosemite National
"Her connection to Holland and Hope was that she
had fond memories of Hope people from her visits to the
family cottage in Macatawa Park when she was young," said
Scott Wolterink, regional advancement director at Hope.
"She felt that students from her community would receive an
outstanding education if they attended the college, and
wanted to provide support that would help them to do so."
Swortzel's yearly support is intended to cover all
expenses--tuition, room and board, textbooks, travel and
other costs--for several students from the two schools who
wish to attend Hope. If no students from the Sierra or
Yosemite high schools wish to apply or are eligible,
students from elsewhere in California may be considered for
the awards. In their absence, other students could become
Her gift will provide support for students at Hope
beginning in the fall of 1998.
Swortzel was a graduate of the University of
Michigan, to which she made a similar 30-year bequest. She
also made $25,000 bequests to seven other organizations,
including scholarship foundations at the Sierra and Yosemite
She was born Marian Vaughn in South Bend, Ind., in
1909. Her grandfather, Edmund C. Westervelt, invented
square-bottomed grocery bags and founded mills to supply
paper for the bags. She and her first husband, Mervyn
Williams, moved to California--first to San Jose--from
Hawaii in 1940. She was preceded in death by both her first
husband and her second, William Swortzel.
Wolterink described Swortzel's gift vehicle as a
"lead trust." Her donations to both Hope and the University
of Michigan will be in the form of interest earned on a
principal of $3.5 million. After the 30 years have elapsed,
her descendants will receive the remaining funds.