Passionate Philanthropist is Remembered

Marie Lewis Matthews ’52 is fondly remembered as a mother of four, a grandmother of 12, an acclaimed nature photographer and a philanthropist. Marie wanted to make a difference for others, and she did!

Marie’s philanthropic interests were many and she was passionate about every organization she committed herself to. Marie served as a trustee of the Mothers 2 Mother program, the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and the Corner House Foundation. She had also served as a trustee of the McCarter Theatre Center and Princeton Day School. She was a member of the Library Advisory Council and helped obtain funding for the C.V. Starr East Asian Library. It was her love for Cal that prompted her to donate time, talent, and treasures.

“Marie believed deeply that students who qualified academically to attend Berkeley and wished to receive the same high-quality education that she received should not be denied the opportunity because they lack the financial resources,” said her husband Edward. In 2002 Edward, trustee of the Starr Foundation, established an endowment to honor Marie’s 50th reunion at Cal. The C.V. Starr Class of ’52 Achievement Award provides scholarships to students who are accepted into The Achievement Award Program (TAAP). TAAP provides high-achieving students who have significant financial need with the resources they need to attend and excel at UC Berkeley.

Through this endowment, six Cal students receive $6,000 per academic year for four years. The principal of the gift was invested and will be held in perpetuity while the interest is used to fund TAAP scholars. Gifts totaling $1,500,000 have funded 20 students since 2002. Gifts of endowment sustain the University’s world-class academic excellence and strengthen the campus’s core mission to serve the greater good.

Shortly after Marie’s death in 2010, her family established the Marie Lewis Matthews Achievement Award in her memory for students who need financial assistance to attend Berkeley and receive the benefit of the outstanding education Berkeley provides. “Her family wishes to honor her memory through the creation of this scholarship fund to perpetuate into the future what she believed in so passionately during her lifetime,” adds Edward.