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In the “Sound of Music” the nuns ask of a young Austrian maiden, “How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?” They could have been singing about another young, feisty, girl named Marjorie, whose life was also unfolding during World War II. “A moonbeam,” “a sunbeam,” her light shone everywhere!
Nancy Bartlit
Marjorie Bell Chambers
1923 - 2006
County : Los Alamos
Category : Education
Marjorie Bell Chambers
Marjorie Bell Chambers
Marjorie Bell Chambers
1923 - 2006
County : Los Alamos
Category : Education

Marjorie Bell Chambers is described as “restless, multifaceted and an indomitable spirit” who had “an unbounded legacy of deeds, thoughts, and inspirations for her children and her students…” She received a Doctorate of Philosophy in History and Political Science at the University of New Mexico pursuing a multifaceted career. She retired at age eighty after a quarter of a century as dean and graduate school professor of the Union Institute and University, which is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She served as President of Colorado Women’s College in Denver and as trustee and interim president of Colby Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire.

 

She also led in the world of non-profit organizations. She rose through the ranks to become the national president of the American Association of University Women. She also actively served on the board of directors for the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities.

 

As a resident of Los Alamos who loved to work with and teach young women, Chambers, herself a lifelong Girl Scout, was a troop leader, camp councilor, and ultimately chair of the Sangre de Cristo Scout Council. She was a founding member of the Los Alamos Historical Society. She also unsuccessfully ran for United States Congress and Lt. Governor of New Mexico. She was active in politics generally and the Republican Party in particular.

 

She longed to make a difference in the world and she sought to do so through education, politics, and community service. She became nationally famous and became an advisor to five U.S. Presidents and four New Mexico governors. She was appointed to the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education and received many local and national awards, including the New Mexico Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the International Women’s Forum’s “A Woman Who Made a Difference” Award.

 

Marjorie Bell Chambers was a dauntless and unceasing person who pursued her goals. She was a wife, mother, educator, politician, activist leader, and practitioner of community service. She was the very definition of a “humanitarian.”

 

SOURCES

Many articles and book chapters.

Authored 32 articles; wrote chapter in book about American West

"Los Alamos, New Mexico: A Survey to 1949" (The Los Alamos Story, Monograph 1), (Los Alamos Historical Society: Los Alamos), April 1999.

"The Battle for Civil Rights, Or, How Los Alamos Became a County" (The Los Alamos Story, Monograph 3), (Los Alamos Historical Society: Los Alamos), May 1999.