Oxy Receives $11 Million Gift
Fulfilling a family commitment that dates back more than a century, a bequest from the late Marie S. and John Parke Young of Pasadena to Occidental College will result in one of the largest gifts in the college’s 119-year history.
The John Parke Young and Marie S.Young Trust and a series of separate charitable remainder trusts ultimately will realize more than $11 million for Occidental’s endowment. The money will be used to fund the John Parke Young Chair in the International Economy, together with programs “designed to promote national or international economic, social, financial, or political policies or actions of general public and social benefit.”
“Occidental has an outstanding reputation in diplomacy and world affairs, economics and a variety of multidisciplinary fields that integrate economic, social and political issues,” said Occidental President Susan Westerberg Prager. “The Youngs’ generosity will play a dramatic role in further strengthening our national profile in these areas.”
Marie Young, 89, who died on Aug. 4, was the widow of John Parke Young, Occidental Class of 1917, a distinguished international economist and former chair of the college’s Economics Department. John Parke Young was the son of the Rev. William Stewart Young, one of Occidental’s founders and a 50-year member of the board of trustees.
“Occidental’s success in educating students for national and international leadership has always been of central importance to our family,” said Catherine Young Selleck, Occidental Class of 1955, immediate past chair of the board of trustees and daughter of John Parke Young. “My grandfather worked tirelessly throughout his life to raise Occidental from a tiny local educational start-up to its current status as a highly respected and nationally ranked liberal arts college.”
“My father was both a scholar and practitioner in the international economic arena,” Selleck said. “He was devoted to his students at Occidental and continued to work with many of them throughout their careers. As a member of the Department of State, he was a key participant in the creation of the United Nations, the World Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund. Establishing the John Parke Young Chair in the International Economy is a most appropriate tribute to his remarkable professional accomplishments.”
“The Young family has had an extraordinary impact on Occidental, from its founding until today,” said Prager. “In meeting Marie I was struck by her active interest in everything about Occidental. Long ago she made her husband’s passion for Occidental her own and perpetuated his devotion to this remarkable place.”
“Cathie Young Selleck, John Parke Young’s daughter, is the third generation of this talented family to provide outstanding service to Occidental,” Prager continued. “I have benefited from her wisdom, advice, and support, experiencing as every one of Occidental’s 12 previous presidents has the active interest and participation of the Young family.”
A native of Los Angeles, John Parke Young taught at Occidental from 1924 to 1942 and then served in a number of positions with the federal government in Washington, D.C., Guatemala, and Chile, retiring in 1965 as chief of the International Finance Section of the U.S. Department of State. He died in 1988.
Marie Smith Young was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, graduated from Tulane University and received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She also served for many years with the Department of State in Washington.
The Young gift is the third largest ever received by Occidental, exceeded only by the $16.8 million received over a period of years from the W. M. Keck Estate and $15.1 million from the Margaret Bundy Scott Trust.