April 18, 2011
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

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National Housing Endowment
Endowment Supporter, Community Leader and Public Servant Muriel Gilman Dies at 87
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Muriel Gilman

Muriel Gilman, a champion of housing, ardent supporter of the National Housing Endowment, the philanthropic arm of NAHB, and a dedicated public servant, died on Feb. 26. She was 87.

Gilman, along with her late husband Marvin Gilman, founded the Marvin S. Gilman/National Housing Endowment Scholarship in 1994 to support graduate students at the University of Delaware whose commitment to housing research best exemplified Marvin Gilman's dedication to strengthening housing and national housing policy. 

Before his death in 1998, Marvin Gilman was an economist; developer and home builder; University of Delaware professor who taught housing finance, housing and land use planning and administrative law; and a tireless advocate for fair and affordable housing. 

After his death, Muriel Gilman became the driving force behind their charitable efforts supporting the endowment and other organizations. Seventeen Gilman scholars have been selected since the program began.

The Gilmans also established the Edelstein Prize for Public and Community Service scholarship program for graduate students at the University of Delaware who shared the Gilmans’ core belief that all people should have access to decent and affordable housing in safe and healthy neighborhoods.

In addition to housing, Gilman served as the executive vice president of the United Way of Delaware from 1984 to 1988 and helped grow the organization from 12 staffers to 40. During her tenure there, fundraising increased from $4 million to $15 million.

Gilman was also a consultant to the University of Delaware's College of Health and Nursing Services from 1988 to 2003, where she led a campaign that raised more than $1 million to establish a scholarship fund for the school’s nursing students.

She is survived by a son, Peter Gilman, and his wife, Susan; a daughter, Martha Smith, and her husband, Greg; and six grandsons.

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