At just 8 years old, Marion Shikamura Osborne, ’51, MA ’52, MD ’56, became ill with acute pneumonia. Placed under the care of Esther Clark, ’21, MD ’25, Marion had no inkling she was meeting her future role model. Clark was the first female physician in Palo Alto, a highly regarded pioneer for women in pediatrics, and co-founder of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Decades later, Marion would go on to follow in Clark’s footsteps—first earning three Stanford degrees and then becoming a respected pediatrician herself, practicing at the very same clinic that Clark helped to launch.
Always grateful for the many ways Stanford impacted her life, Marion dedicated herself to caring for others and paying it forward for future generations of students. Over the course of several decades, Marion established charitable gift annuities and estate gifts to Stanford that created scholarships for undergraduate and medical students and funded medical student research.
Marion passed away in 2021. Her stepdaughter, Nancy Osborne Almquist, ’70, who has worked closely with the Office of Planned Giving as the trustee of Marion’s estate, fondly recalls their afternoon outings together. Marion insisted that no matter where they might be going—to a museum, to brunch, or to visit friends—they must always take a scenic detour through Stanford.
“She loved to drive through campus and reminisce,” Nancy said. “Stanford meant so much to her, and it gave her so much joy.”
All in the family
Marion grew up in Santa Clara County in a Stanford family. Both her father and older sister had earned master’s degrees at Stanford, and her mother was a proud Stanford Mothers’ Club member. After completing her Stanford degrees and a fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine, Marion practiced adolescent medicine at Stanford’s student health center. It was there that she met her future husband, Maurice “Mac” Osborne, Jr., MD, the center’s director.
Marion deeply valued and prioritized education. Her first gift to Stanford, in 1977, supported the Lane Medical Library’s book purchase fund. It was one of many consistent gifts she would make to the university over the course of nearly five decades.
In 2002, she established her first charitable gift annuity and designated it to ultimately benefit student researchers in the Medical Scholars Research Program, noting at the time, “It’s important to support medical education so that students can continue their studies without the pressure of having to worry quite so much about their finances.”
Over time, Marion went on to establish 11 more gift annuities, for a total of 12. “These gifts provide me with great annual payouts, but they also are beneficial to Stanford’s future. I feel good about giving to an institution that has meant so much to me over the years,” she said.
In addition to her many charitable gift annuities, Marion also named Stanford as a beneficiary of her estate, which she designated for two purposes: the Marion Shikamura Osborne and Maurice M. Osborne, Jr., Medical Scholarship Fund for medical student financial aid, and the Marion Teru and Alice Haruko Shikamura Scholarship Fund for undergraduate financial aid, which Marion established in honor of her sister Alice, who passed in 1978. The endowed funds Marion established at Stanford will continue to impact the lives of students and enable them to make a difference in the world now and for future generations.
“This scholarship is another testament to remind myself of my blessings,” said Kazuki Mogi, ’22, MS ’22, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics as a beneficiary of one of Marion’s scholarships. “More than that, however, this fund is another anchor to remind myself of my greater mission, which is to contribute back to the world, especially to those who are not as fortunate as I am, such that they can unleash their potential and live their lives to the fullest.”