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A special toast for a beloved member of the Chapman family

June 24, 2010

Charlene Baldwin, left, and Claudia Horn, right, toast Joyce Marion Chapman's 90th birthday at a reception in the Joyce Marion Chapman Rotunda at Leatherby Libraries.

With music, cake and a champagne toast, the grand-niece of Charles Clarke Chapman, Chapman University’s namesake, celebrated her 90th birthday at a special reception Thursday at Leatherby Libraries.

Charlene Baldwin, dean of Leatherby Libraries, praised Joyce Marion Chapman as a loyal library supporter who is “vital, cheerful, lovely and robust.”

Among the library enhancements made possible by Chapman’s donations are special computers and software for the visually impaired. In addition, Chapman has donated extensive family documents, correspondence and memorabilia to the library, including a mid-19th century Japanese carved display cabinet on view in the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives. The first-floor study lounge, the Joyce Marion Chapman Rotunda, was named for her.

While enjoying cake and sharing old stories, Joyce Chapman reflected on the university’s past and present.

“It’s always been a wonderful school. … It’s grown. But it has still kept a lot of the charm of being small,” she said.

Chapman’s grandfather was Francis (Frank) Marion Chapman, brother of C.C. Chapman. The two brothers moved from Illinois to California in the 1890s and bought citrus ranches. During the party, Joyce Chapman recalled day-long parties her “Uncle Charlie” held every July 2.

Joining Joyce for the celebration were many members of the Chapman family, including Chapman University Trustee Scott Chapman, who was at the keyboard for a spirited rendition of Happy Birthday.

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