December 16, 2015

Murchison Estate Gift of $330,000 Supports Friends Center

Guilford College has received $330,000 for Friends Center from the estate of long-time Greensboro residents and College supporters Marian Kirkman Murchison ’45 and her husband, Victor.

“We deeply appreciate this generous gift from the Murchisons supporting Friends Center,” said Jane K. Fernandes, president of the College. “We thank Marian’s surviving triplet sister, Mary Kirkman Routh ’45, and her husband, Charlie, for their abiding interest in Guilford and for stewarding the gift as estate executors.”

Friends Center at Guilford College nurtures servant-leaders on campus and in the wider community through activities informed by Friends’ faith and practice. It draws financial and relational support from Quakers regionally, including members of an advisory board.

Marian attended Guilford along her triplet sister, Mary, and brother, Stacy ’45, in the early 1940s. The sisters lived together in Mary Hobbs Hall at the College and later earned their bachelor’s degrees in home economics at the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNCG).

In 1947, Marian married Victor Murchison, a Quaker pastor who had a 67-year ministry with Friends Meetings in Winston-Salem, Goldsboro, Asheboro and High Point. Marian was employed by N.C. Cooperative Extension Services, and the couple befriended Guilford students. Marian died in 2014, and Victor, in 2006.

“Members of my wife’s family have had a strong commitment to education all their lives. They all earned advanced degrees and supported educational causes while they were living and in their estates,” said Charlie Routh. “Guilford College and Quaker beliefs mean so much to all of us, and we are pleased that the Murchison gift will benefit Friends Center.”

Wess Daniels, William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies, said, “Charlie and Mary Routh exemplify with their lives the qualities of what it means to move through the world as Quakers. Both in gift and in action, they embody George Fox’s words, ‘be patterns, be examples ... that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people...’

“With gratitude, Friends Center receives this gift and will put it to use in ways that reflect this calling.”