Reception Honors Friend and Philanthropist

by Rachel Pledger '07

A reception was held Friday, September 15, in memory of Marie Philleo, a local philanthropist and friend of APU who left $500,000 to the university for assistance in student scholarships. Philleo passed away February 25, 2005. Nearly thirty-five friends, faculty, and staff joined in remembrance of Philleo. Estate Planning Officer Dennette Miramontes directed ceremonies and opened with a brief memorandum.

Philleo's life was dedicated to serving her community, having been a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) for 58 years, the Azusa Woman's Club for 38 years, a lifetime member of the Azusa Historical Society, and active contributor in Friends of the Azusa Library. "She was my sister in Chapter FT," said Christine Boling, President of Chapter FT (PEO's Azusa Chapter).

"She was a good speaker; one of the smartest women I knew." President Jon R. Wallace spoke of Philleo's commitment to altruism. "There’s a theology at the university because of our faith tradition which states that God loves a cheerful giver. My sense is that’s who Marie was," Wallace said. Her monetary contribution will be added to the general scholarship endowment fund to provide financial assistance to future students. "This university stands on the shoulders of the residents of this city," said Wallace.

Associate Professor of History Bryan Lamkin, Ph.D., then announced the initiation of a new project dedicated to documenting the history of the Azusa Woman's Club (AWC), made possible by Philleo's donations. "Oral history is a phenomenal way to capture the personal side of a community and organization's history.

In this case we especially hope to reveal the ways in which the Azusa Woman's Club contributed to the city of Azusa itself," Lamkin said. Twenty-one students will connect with current and former society women in an attempt to solidify a timeline of the organization’s history since the 1930's. After some closing words from Miramontes, General Counsel Mark Dickerson, JD, led the group into the Ahmanson Information Center in Darling Library to view a plaque erected in honor of Marie Philleo. "She was a noble friend of APU. Her legacy of service will never be forgotten," Miramontes said.