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February 27, 2021
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Wife of GVSU's First President Passes Away
(2008-06-17)
(wgvu) - From GVSU: Marilyn Edwards Zumberge, the wife of Grand Valley State University's first president James H. Zumberge, died of cancer on June 8 at her home in Pasadena, Calif. She was 83.

She was born on February 24, 1925, in Oak Park, Ill., and grew up in nearby Western Springs. She attended Lawrence College (now Lawrence University) in Appleton, Wis., where she was an active member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology.

James H. Zumberge was named president when Grand Valley was chartered, and held the post until 1969. After leaving Grand Valley, he served as president of Southern Methodist University from 1975 to 1980 and president of University of Southern California from 1980 to 1991. He was also a renowned geologist who led several polar expeditions. Two Antarctic sites, Cape Zumberge and the Zumberge Coast, bear his name. He retired from USC in 1991 died a year later at age 68 in Pasadena, California as the result of a brain tumor.

The Zumberge Library and Zumberge Pond on Grand Valley's Allendale Campus are named for him, as well as Zumberge Hall of Sciences, one of the natural science buildings at USC.

In 1947, Marilyn married James 10 days after her graduation from college. Together, they spent 33 years of academic life in Minnestoa, Michigan, Arizona, Nebraska, Texas and California. She was active in many organizations both in support of USC and others in the Los Angeles area.

She is survived by three siblings, four children and eight grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at the San Marino Community Church, 1750 Virgina Rd., San Marino, at 1 p.m. on June 20. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations go to Friends of the USC Libraries.
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