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Marion Swannie Rand

Alumna Creates a Living Legacy through Scholarship


Marion Swannie Rand ’45 embodied the characteristics of a Chatham woman—she was an involved student leader, at the top of her class academically, and achieved success in her field at a time when there weren’t many opportunities for women in her industry.

Today, Marion’s Chatham legacy lives on through both the students she influenced during her lifetime and the students she continues to impact  through The Paul and Marion Swannie Rand ’45 Scholarship Fund. The scholarship, established by The Paul Rand Trust in 2020 in Marion's memory, provides support for deserving undergraduate students with financial need.

Marion chose Chatham (then Pennsylvania College for Women) in part because of the scholarships and financial support she received. She excelled as a student—becoming president of her senior class, vice president of the Hood and Tassle Society, and was selected by her peers as the Charm Girl who most embodied the Pennsylvania College for Women trait of intelligence.

After graduating from PCW in 1945, Marion landed in New York City, working as a graphic artist for IBM. She eventually rose to the role of vice president in the area of design and served a total of 30 years with the company. During her time at IBM, she also met her husband, Paul Rand—a  pioneer in graphic design, known for creating corporate logos for some of America's best known major corporations including IBM, ABC, Westinghouse, and the United Parcel Service.

Marion remained involved with Chatham, serving as a Trustee from 1970 to 1986 and supporting the school generously in her lifetime. In 2000, she funded the restoration of Chatham’s beautiful Louis Comfort Tiffany window, which now hangs in Buhl Science Complex. She also remained involved with her classmates and current students.

One of the students Marion influenced was Pamela Bradley, a Chatham alumna from the Class of 1970, and a recipient of Chatham’s William Trimble Beatty Award for dedicated volunteer service and leadership. Pam’s mother, Patsy Speers Bradley ’45, was Marion’s Chatham roommate and a close friend. When it was time for her to look at colleges, Pam’s mother suggested she visit Marion to help her make a final decision about attending Chatham.

“‘Swannie’ as she was affectionately known by her classmates, invited me to NYC when I was a senior in high school to talk about Chatham. Hearing about her life as a working woman in New York City (in 1966), convinced me more than ever that Chatham was the place for me. It opened my eyes to what a Chatham graduate could do!” Pam recalls growing up and enjoying visits from Swannie and her mother’s other Chatham friends, “I can remember them sitting in the living room telling stories and laughing and generally doing what all classmates do after they leave Chatham.” Pam followed in Marion and her mother’s footsteps, finding her way to Chatham, and eventually, forging her own distinguished path, serving as President of the Alumni Association Board and as a Chatham Trustee.

Scholarships, like The Paul and Marion Swannie Rand ’45 Scholarship Fund, give Chatham students the opportunity to become the leaders of tomorrow. Almost 80 years after Marion graduated from PCW, she has left an indelible mark on the next generation of Chatham University students. Visit https://www.chatham.edu/give/ways-to-give.html to learn more about establishing a scholarship at Chatham or contact Amanda Kile, Assistant Vice President of Development at a.kile@chatham.edu or 412-365-1349.