“I guess I tend to support the little guys— the ones that do not get the big bucks,” said Marlboro admirer and donor Daan Zwick. In 1996 Daan, a research scientist at Eastman Kodak Company, gave a landmark gift to Marlboro, pledging $150,000 per year for three years plus a charitable remainder trust in the amount of $550,000, the first gift of $1 million in Marlboro’s history. With Daan’s passing in November 2019, his forward-thinking generosity became part of Marlboro’s legacy.
“I have admired the college, its goals and practices, ever since I first visited there in the 1950s,” said Daan, whose sister Huddee Herrick taught writing at Marlboro in the 1960s and 70s, and died in 1996. Huddee is remembered for hosting lively writing classes in her South Road house, crowded with her own colorful paintings, and serving dinner over poetry. Daan added, “I like the independence, the responsibility, the Plan, and the community that I see and feel at Marlboro.”
An avid outdoorsman, Daan was a Boy Scout leader, a member of the National Ski Patrol, and a volunteer summit caretaker on Mount Mansfield for the Green Mountain Club. He helped care for the Long Trail and its shelters for decades, through his volunteering and philanthropy, starting with being the first caretaker for the Taylor Lodge, in Nebraska Notch, at the age of 15. In a memoir of that summer, published in Long Trail News, Daan describes Huddee visiting on Labor Day weekend and being scalded by an exploding can of beans.
“My sister Huddee and her girlfriend hiked in to spend a relaxing weekend with me. As we sat quietly on a bunk talking, while waiting for the lunch crowd around the stove to thin out, there was a loud explosion, the oven blew apart, and Huddee started screaming…. More excitement in that 15 minutes than I had had all summer. I know Huddee didn’t appreciate it, but there was nothing like finishing up one’s first caretaking season with a bang.”
The sense of responsibility gained by Daan on that first summer at Taylor Lodge stood him in good stead over the years, and he was a committed philanthropist his whole life, giving generously to the Green Mountain Club, United Way, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Eastman School of Music, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Marlboro is so grateful that Daan’s generosity extended to the college and will continue to support it during this challenging transition period ahead.