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Clarence Marcley "Leaves A Legacy": Clarkson University Receives Proceeds From Trust Worth Nearly $1 Million

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Over 30 years ago, as Clarence Brooks Marcley planned for himself and his family, he also planned to leave a legacy to the North Country. His story is one of thrifty investments, planning for the future, and the magic of compound interest.Clarence B. Marcley

In 1918 when Clarence Marcley took a train ride from his hometown of Schenectady to begin college at Clarkson, he had $6.60 in his pocket for train fare, and not a great deal more. Those were the days when coffee cost three cents a cup, and tuition, room, board and expenses at Clarkson were about $700 a year. Though that may not seem like much by today’s standards, for Marcley every penny was important.

From a family of modest means, Marcley was described by his nephew Graydon Loomis as “an extraordinary man who was a credit to the human race.”  Marcley worked his way through college, and was extremely thrifty, keeping accurate records of every expense and investment he ever made.  “Uncle Clarence kept a record book of his days at Clarkson which revealed that his room and board was $1 per day at 26 Bay Street, and his four-year total for tuition and “expenses” was

$2,805.35,” said Loomis.

Marcley’s attention to financial details earned him accolades as a student.  In 1919, he was appointed as the first treasurer of the Integrator student newspaper, which in its first year was supported entirely by subscription.  In 1920, he was elected treasurer of his class.  As a senior, he changed positions within the Integrator editorial staff, serving as exchange editor until his graduation in 1922, when he earned his B.S. in chemical engineering.

His talent for investing and attention to detail also served him well throughout his successful 33-year career at General Electric in Schenectady. It was during this time that he tried his hand at the stock

market, making investments in companies he felt were a sure thing.  Never taking his eye off the bottom line, he continued investing for his family’s future with steadfast confidence. 

In 1967, he and his wife Bernice established a revocable living trust with an investment of $4,700, based on the sale of some of the stock certificates he had been keeping throughout his career.  Clarence then established in his will that, upon his, his wife’s and his niece Arlene Loomis’ passing, the majority of the trust principal would be given to Clarkson.

In 1990, Mr. and Mrs. Loomis drove Clarence -- at the age of 91 -- from their home in Rochester to attend a Clarkson Reunion on campus.  “Uncle Clarence was always so proud of Clarkson, and he was especially pleased to be able to see the many positive developments on campus since his time there so long ago”, said Loomis.

Clarence passed on in 1993 at the age of 94, leaving the trust to his niece Arlene Loomis for use in her lifetime.  In 1999, when Arlene passed away, the gift in the trust established 32 years prior had grown from $4,700 to $975,000.

Clarkson University received the $975,000 gift from Loomis’ estate this spring.

“Mr. Marcley is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished for family and charity through planning. Clarkson and the North Country will benefit from his foresight,” said Clarkson President Denny Brown. “We deeply appreciate his efforts and encourage everyone to plan for their favorite charities in northern New York.”

Leave a Legacy is a nationwide program designed to promote greater public awareness of making gifts to charitable organizations through wills and estate plans. May is Leave a Legacy awareness month, sponsored by over 125 charities in the North Country, including Clarkson.

Photo caption: The Clarkson Integrator was first published in 1919, with Clarence B. Marcley serving as its first treasurer. Marcley is pictured here (center, back row) with the 1921-22 editorial staff, serving that year as exchange editor.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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