n 1930 Louise Foucar Marshall, ex-university professor, businesswoman and philanthropist, and her husband, Thomas Marshall, created a foundation that would, in Louise’s words, “carry on our work when we are gone.” It was the first private foundation in Arizona. Her goal was to create a permanent scholarship fund to aid deserving women who wanted to attend the University of Arizona and to help those less fortunate in the community. She was following the example of her mother who believed in supporting charitable causes, especially “aid to young men and women seeking an education.”
Louise had received a comfortable inheritance from her parents and her mother’s estate and she used it to buy land near the University and then develop it over time into successful residential and commercial properties. Louise had a real talent for business and was the driving force behind the family’s growing real estate holdings. With a steady flow of income from the properties, she had the financial means to fund the start-up and ongoing operation of the new Marshall Foundation.
On January 16, 1930, articles of incorporation were filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission with Louise listed as treasurer and Thomas as president of the Foundation. It was set up as a not-for-profit corporation to donate funds every year to the University of Arizona for scholarships. After the death of her husband in 1931, Louise took over direction of the foundation along with an appointed board of directors. The community responded to her efforts and a steady stream of requests for donations began to arrive at Marshall Foundation.
Currently, Marshall Foundation donates approximately $1.2 million to non-profit organizations in Tucson and Pima County and established a reputation as a highly respected organization in the community. Louise Marshall's dream has been realized — the University of Arizona now receives more than $400,000 in scholarship funds and annually, close to half of the Foundation’s total donations each year.
Today the foundation continues the proud legacy of giving and community service started by founder Louise Foucar Marshall.
(Acknowledgement: The descriptions, quotes and historical information contained in this section and the sections that follow were compiled from sources including the book Tom Marshall’s Tucson by Patricia Stephenson and Alex Jay Kimmelman, research done by the foundation staff, and articles, documents and publications from the foundation archives. Photos and newspaper clippings courtesy of Tom Marshall’s Tucson, the Arizona Daily Star and the foundation archives.)