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Marion Gottesfeld Papers

Identifier: M149


Marion S. Gottesfeld (1917-2001) was a trustee of the University of Denver for 48 years and instrumental in fundraising and development efforts at the University. She helped found the Women's Library Association, the Center for Judaic Studies, and the Lamont Music Associates. She was also involved in a number of civic and charity organizations in Denver. Marion Gottesfeld's papers include correspondence, postcards, itineraries, travel vouchers, travel diaries, schedules, brochures, maps, guide books, canceled passports, official resolutions, holiday gift lists, programs, plaques, framed letters, commemorative plates, a photograph, and certificates.


  • 1932 - 2001


Biographical / Historical

A tireless fundraiser and advocate of higher education, Marion S. Gottesfeld (1917-2001) became known as the ''godmother'' of the University of Denver. She was born Marion Rosenbaum in Brooklyn, New York and was educated at Wellesley College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in geology (with minors in physics and chemistry) in 1938. After earning a master’s degree in business administration at New York University in 1941, she married Denver Rose Medical Center founder and president, Dr. M. Ray Gottesfeld, a widower with two young sons (Stuart and Kenneth). The couple subsequently had two more children. Dr. Gottesfeld died in 1961. Marion later married Denver businessman, David Hurwitz.

Marion Gottesfeld’s association with the University of Denver began soon after her arrival in Colorado in the late 1940s. She was appointed to the University of Denver’s Board of Trustees in 1953, and at the time of her death in 2001, her tenure was the longest of any University trustee – 48 years of service. Her many contributions to the University include the formation of the Women’s Library Association, which has raised over three million dollars in funds for the University’s Penrose Library. She also helped to establish the University’s Center for Judaic Studies, Holocaust Awareness Institute, and Lamont Music Associates.

As a commissioner of the Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Marion Gottesfeld was involved in the redevelopment of lower downtown Denver and was instrumental in the restoration and preservation of Larimer Square and the Daniels and Fisher Tower. She also served on the Board of Directors of KDBI, a Denver PBS affiliate. She was an active and successful fund raiser for a myriad of organizations including Denver’s Rose Medical Center, Colorado Head Start, Opera Colorado, and the Colorado Symphony. In 1999, she was appointed by Colorado Governor Bill Owens to the State’s Commission on Higher Education.


18.4 Linear Feet (14 boxes and containers; 6 record boxes, 1 13'' x 13'' x 4'' flat box, 4 wrapped object)

Scope and Contents

Marion Gottesfield's papers contain materials ranging from 1932 to 2001. This includes a diverse array of materials relating to Gottesfeld’s extensive travels both within the United States and abroad such as itineraries, travel vouchers, schedules, brochures, maps, guide books, postcards, canceled passports, and hand written personal accounts about specific destinations. Personal accounts are contained primarily in composition books and small spiral bound notepads. The collection also contains the personal correspondence between Gottesfeld and family members, official resolutions concerning the death of a son (Dr. Kenneth R Gottesfeld, 1938-1984), and holiday gift lists. Marion Gottesfeld’s activities relating to her musical interests and activities during the final 15 years of her life are also represented by trip itineraries, programs, and textual materials relating to musical tours and symposia. Also contained is the documentation relating to the establishment of a concert and lecture series in memory of Denver music critic Jeff Bradley (1944-2000). There are numerous items relating to the recognition of Gottesfeld’s accomplishments on behalf of civic and educational organizations in the Denver area. These include plaques, framed letters, commemorative plates, and certificates. Recently, scrapbooks containing clippings, family photographs, and memorabilia from her life.


The collection is arranged in four series:; 1. Travel, 1932-2000.; 2. Personal Papers, 1942-2001.; 3. Musical Events, 1986-2001.; 4. Awards and Citations 1966-1999.;

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Estate of Marion Gottesfeld, 2002.


No further accruals are expected.

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428