Marquis Honored with Endowed Scholarship

Board chair Jim Lovelace and Dean Susan Marquis after the dinner

Photos by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

June 15, 2021

Last week's meeting of the Pardee RAND Board of Governors was notable in many respects. It was the first major event held at RAND since pandemic restrictions eased (and, in fact, the March 2020 Board meeting was the last public event at RAND before the office was closed). It was run successfully as a hybrid event, with half the board in person and half online. And it was the last meeting led by Dean Susan Marquis.

To honor — and surprise — Marquis, Board chair Jim Lovelace and RAND president and CEO Michael Rich, who serves on the board, announced the establishment of a $1 million scholarship endowment, the Susan L. Marquis Endowed Scholarship, to support future Pardee RAND students.

In announcing the gift, Rich noted, "Susan’s steadfast leadership, her drive to do more, and her vision for a new future for public policy graduate education—and action—has taken Pardee RAND to the next level. She, with the guidance and support of so many of you, has charted the school’s course for success for the next 50 years, and beyond."

In raising a toast to Marquis, he added, "The Pardee RAND of today would not exist without her."

Michael Rich offers a toast

Dean Marquis is visibly humbled

Dinner attendees cheer on the dean

Lovelace said, "Susan, when you became dean 13 years ago, I think we all thought your job was to keep an excellent program excellent. The big problem at the time was the debt RAND students were accumulating in their first couple of years. You solved that problem in short order, by convincing everyone that Pardee RAND was a school and should be run like a school, with a robust scholarship program to support the students.

"It’s only appropriate that there be a scholarship fund in your name, as a testament to that part of your vision. It’s the Board of Governors as a group who are building this fund, our way of saying thanks and helping future students remember your achievement."

He noted that Marquis "went way beyond just keeping an excellent program excellent. Your boldness to reimagine what a graduate program in public policy can be, and then to bring it into reality is what you will always be remembered for at RAND."

Rich added, "Susan’s passion—for supporting our students, for building community, and for strengthening all of RAND—is deep. As she inspired so many students to 'be the answer' to the challenges around them, she truly was the answer to what was needed to ensure Pardee RAND’s success."

Support the Scholarship

If you’re interested in honoring Susan’s time as dean by making a gift to the Susan L. Marquis Endowed Scholarship, please contact Jessica Kikuchi at