Coming out of a year of chemotherapy and radiation and the ups and downs of recovery, Marshall Carter-Tripp'65 was ready in December 2012 to do something she's always loved – travel. So as she and her husband, Dick, were organizing recent trips to Central and South America, the couple made sure they met with an estate planning attorney to get their will in order before embarking on their travels.
After a career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Marshall knows how to prepare for extended travel, including putting advance directives in place. But her motivation was more passionate this time. "I should say that receiving a cancer diagnosis and going through treatment and recovery makes you keenly aware of the need to have your affairs in order, and of the importance of supporting those institutions that made a difference in your life," she says.
A Love of Learning
Marshall came to Beloit from Newport News, Va., a community where she felt like an outsider. "Because I was the odd one who actually liked books and learning at my high school, I got called ‘the librarian.' At Beloit, just meeting all these people from all over the United States who actually liked learning as much as I did was very eye-opening. When I got there, it was like floating in a whole new ocean," Marshall says.
After graduating from Beloit with a major in government, she earned a master's degree and doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in political science and African studies, specializing in African law. From there, she taught at several universities, including Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria, until she entered the Foreign Service in November 1979. This led to a 25-year career, with assignments that spanned the Atlantic, beginning as one of two officers primarily responsible for relationships with Nigeria in the office of West African Affairs.
From there, she went to Panama, then returned to Washington, D.C., to serve in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, responsible for southern African affairs. "This was 1984–1986, a fascinating time, as protests in South Africa began to seriously affect the apartheid regime," Marshall says.
Other assignments included Belgium, to serve the Mission to NATO, and another return to the United States to work in International Science and Environmental Affairs and the Human Rights Bureau. An impending work assignment in Spain, Portugal, and Argentina in 1996 prompted Marshall and her husband to prepare their wills and to notify Beloit College of a bequest in Marshall's will.
When Marshall was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2010, she used the skills she'd honed from her liberal arts education and beyond to learn about her disease. She created her own website that she continually updates with new information.
An Appreciation for Beloit
On the eve of their trip to Mexico in December 2012, the Tripps updated their estate documents and contacted Beloit again to reaffirm their intentions for the college. "The amount back in 1996 was less than what we expect it will be now," Marshall says. Of course, family needs and other unforeseen expenses could diminish the gift, but for now, the estate primarily comprises IRAs, real estate, and bank accounts.
"This is done in appreciation for what Beloit was for me and a hope that Beloit can be that for many more people to come," Marshall says of their plans to leave a significant bequest to the college.