Expanding Her Commitment to Sacramento
Local philanthropist expands support of community in her estate plan

We thank Marlene Oehler for her donation, pictured here holding a bouquet of sunflowers

Helping people who are just a freckle away from getting their degree.

It is a sweet sentiment that will one day help adult learners find their way back to higher education.

There is much to consider when embarking on the journey that culminates in the receipt of a college degree. When returning to complete a college degree after years away, adult learners benefit from the support of generous donors — and Marlene Oehler plans to help fill that role.

She and her late husband, Bob, spent a lifetime supporting programs that benefit children. As a Shriner, he dedicated his passion to several groups within the organization, and the couple traveled the world with them. Marlene knew her passions were closer to home and, in 1995, began volunteering with the Sacramento Children’s Home. Whether she worked the register at its Casa Garden Restaurant or served on its board of directors, Marlene dedicated herself to the organization’s work.

Never attending college herself, Marlene did not feel a connection with Sacramento State, but after connecting with leaders at the College of Continuing Education, Marlene grew curious about how she might expand her impact to include college students. Together, they established a plan.

Working closely with her long-time estate planning attorney, Marlene — previously named Philanthropist of the Year by the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals — has her will providing a 7-digit amount to establish the Oehler Family Scholarship.

“I had an opportunity to decide what I wanted to do down the track,” Marlene said. “It has been gratifying to go to Sacramento State events and meet students who benefit from scholarships. The College of Continuing Education program excited me, and I could see how people who are just a freckle away from getting their degree can benefit from what I do.”

Over the years, Marlene has considered her philanthropic work as a woven blanket, a tapestry of impact that envelopes Sacramento allowing her to see the value of her work right here in her backyard.

The College of Continuing Education (CCE) at Sacramento State has been offering courses, seminars and workshops since 1951. We remain committed to serving the community by enhancing lives through innovative education and professional development. The College of Continuing Education extends the mission of Sacramento State by providing access to educational and professional programming that meets learner and industry demands.