Leo Laine Memorial Scholarship

Leo Laine Memorial Scholarship

The Leo Laine Memorial Scholarship story is actually the first of three stories about one family’s many connections with CLU. The other two are the Ida Marie Nelson Scholarship and the Knight Family Scholarship.

Marjorie Laine was born in Minnesota but moved with family to California when she was 12. After high school she attended business school and worked as a legal secretary for several years before marrying her high school sweetheart, Elmer Laine, an attorney. After just 17 years of marriage, Marjorie found herself a widow with two children.

As fortune would have it, Elmer’s brother Leo, a widower, stepped into the picture and began courting Marjorie. They married, eventually celebrating 17 years together before he died in 1972. Leo was a petroleum industry executive with responsibilities that took the family to New York, London and Kuwait. When Leo died Marjorie once again found herself widowed. Still in good health and with plenty of energy, she moved back to California where she led a very active life in the Rossmoor community of Walnut Creek and as a member of Hope Lutheran Church.

After Leo’s death in 1974, Marjorie decided to establish a scholarship at California Lutheran College in his memory. CLC was the closest Lutheran institution of higher education to her home in Northern California. Her approach was unusual—she agreed to send a gift of $2,100 to CLC each year until she could arrange to endow the scholarship. CLC took her pledge seriously and a close relationship was developed between the college and the Laines.

The list of recipients of the Leo Laine Memorial Scholarship is a roll call of outstanding alumni. At first, the scholarship was designated for religion majors but the criterion was changed later to students planning to become teachers. This scholarship is a testament to Marjorie Laine’s devotion both to her late husband and to her faith in Lutheran higher education.