You may not know the name Marian Blakeslee Butler but she has made a difference in the lives of thousands. In an age when many causes compete for our attention, an individual who gives so prodigiously of themselves in the service of others is remarkable. Mrs. Butler was one such woman, who began and lived much of her life in the Binghamton area.
Presiding over Cambridge Business School in New York City, Marian inherited her father’s work ethic and ambition. She cared for her students and colleagues throughout her professional life, helping everyone whose lives she touched to pursue the American dream. In her later years, despite her wealth, Mrs. Butler lived very modestly, stripped of luxury.
She continued her investment in the everyday lives of those closest to her until her death on December 26, 2010.
With her death came a profound unveiling of Marian’s triumphant legacy of giving, long into the future. Included in her bequest were friends, family, and business associates; both her alma mater and her husband’s.
The Community Foundation for South Central New York is an organization to benefit from her lifetime of philanthropy. The remarkable breadth of her charity has had – and will continue to have – a profound impact on the thousands upon thousands of people who rely on the services that we and her other beneficiaries provide.
Mrs. Butler’s life was one well lived, guided by hard work, sharp wit, and a boundless reservoir of concern for the well-being and advancement of others. Not everyone that she has helped will know her name, but they are grateful to her. We, too, are grateful. And deeply moved by her generosity and kindness. We share her story with the great hope of inspiring others to follow her example.