Marjorie Dunton Herman ’21 Research Lab

This space is officially named in gratitude of the generosity of Paul Herman ’87 and family, in honor of his grandmother, Marjorie Dunton Herman 1921.


Paul Herman ’87 named a research lab in honor of his grandmother, Marjorie Dunton Herman 1921. 

“Giving directly to support the humanities and social studies was important to me,” Herman says. “Grinnell has smartly made investments in learning through the HSSC and this was a way to assist those efforts as well as pay tribute to my family.”

The room is in the Alumni Recitation Hall (ARH) portion of the HSSC, where she would have attended classes. Marjorie grew up in Dundee, Illinois. Her father and other family members attended nearby Wheaton College. But Marjorie chose Grinnell during the waning years of World War I. At the time, few young women left home and ventured out of state to acquire a liberal arts education. 

Marjorie died before he started college, so Paul never had the chance to speak to her about her years at Grinnell. But in subsequent years, he discovered photos of Marjorie and other ephemera from her time there. 

After a year at the University of California San Diego, Paul transferred to Grinnell and immediately felt at home. He majored in religious studies and after Grinnell earned a MA in religious studies from the Pacific School of Religion and a Ph.D. in American history from Stanford University. Paul has worked in local and state politics in California, focusing on AIDS-related policies and HIV prevention. He currently serves as a board member for Legal Services for Children in the Bay Area.   

—Edited excerpts, Original by James Decker ’75: Honoring a family’s legacy