Elise Mudd Marvin dies at 79; founding trustee of Pitzer College, philanthropist

Elise Mudd Marvin, a founding trustee of Pitzer College who also was a generous donor to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other leading cultural institutions in Southern California, has died. She was 79.

Marvin died Jan. 13 at her home in Pasadena, her family announced. The cause of death was not reported.

Her close affinity to Harvey Mudd College, which was named for her uncle, led her to donate more than $1 million to the Claremont college from 1969 until her death to fund a variety of programs.

She also established the Elise Mudd Marvin scholarship, which over the last 20 years has helped 47 students with their tuition.

Deborah Borda, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, called Marvin one of the orchestra's "most ardent and dedicated supporters."

"The relationship was a special one, dating back to 1984, in fact so special that she even accompanied the orchestra on tour on a number of occasions. Her spirit, her caring, her devotion will be greatly missed by her musical family here at the Philharmonic," Borda said in a statement.

Other cultural institutions that Marvin was involved with included the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Elise Sandoz Mudd was born in Pasadena on Feb. 14, 1929.

Her father, Dr. Seeley Greenleaf Mudd, was a medical researcher at Caltech and one-time dean of the USC School of Medicine. Her father also was a longtime contributor to all of the Claremont Colleges.

While growing up in San Marino, she attended Westridge School in Pasadena and, after graduation, went on to Sarah Lawrence College in New York. While there, she met her future husband, Murray Sands Marvin.

The couple settled in the early 1950s in Los Angeles, where he began his law practice at Musick, Peeler and Garrett.

She was elected to the Pitzer board in 1963 and served until she resigned in 1969. She also attended the school for a semester in 1977.

She is survived by four children, Wendel Bruss, Darian Dragge, Guru Amrit Khlasa and Murray Sands Marvin Jr.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Marvin, who was married at All Saints Church in Pasadena on June 21, 1949, will be remembered there at a memorial service at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 20. The church is at 132 N. Euclid Ave.

Instead of flowers, donations may be made to the Elise Mudd Marvin scholarship fund at Harvey Mudd College. Information: (909) 607-0899.