We regret to share that Marion Independent School Foundation founder Greg Hapgood died on October 31, 2021. You can view his obituary online here.
November 4 from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM (CT)
Murdoch Funeral Home
3855 Katz Drive
Marion, IA 52302
November 5 at 10:30 AM
First Presbyterian Church
802 12th Street
Marion, IA 52302
Memorials may be directed to the Marion Independent School Foundation and Alumni Association.
Below is a feature about Greg in a recent Marion Foundation newsletter. We appreciate all that Greg has done to strengthen education in Marion.
Greg Hapgood is an unsung hero to the Marion Independent School Foundation and Alumni Association. Although he volunteered “because it needed done,” he deserves many thanks for his over 30 years of service to the Marion Independent School District and over 40 years of service to the Marion community.
In 1988, at the request of Superintendent Harold Hulleman, a group of MISD supporters began researching how to form a school foundation. The goal was to provide opportunities for students not typically funded by a school district. Under the leadership of Greg Hapgood, thirteen community members signed their names on November 15, 1989 to become the first trustees of the Marion Independent School Foundation & Alumni Association. The first projects were small, but thanks to the financial support of generous donors the Foundation grew.
In 1994, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees hired its first executive director to lead the charge in raising $300,000 for Project CONNECT. The goal was to focus efforts on one large fundraising campaign to support education at Marion. Technology and its use in education was emerging and Marion wanted to be on the forefront of this movement. The purpose of Project CONNECT was to install a fiber optic network to all school buildings, and thus enable classrooms to connect to the Iowa Communication Network. According to Greg, “we didn’t know what we were doing, but we did it.” They learned along the way and pulled off an extremely successful campaign raising the necessary funds and developing awareness in the community of the Foundation and its mission.
Capitalizing on public awareness, the Foundation grew from focusing its efforts on specific fundraising projects to supporting a variety of projects aimed at enhancing the educational experience of Marion students. Areas of support grew with a number of scholarships and educational funds being established by alumni, parents and community groups.
In 1999, the Marion Grant program was created to provide an internal granting process for teachers. During its first year, $25,000 was distributed throughout the district to support expanded curriculum and technology. Since then, grants have also been distributed to support a variety of needs for district staff.
Along with serving as board president of the Marion Independent School Foundation and Alumni Association from 1989 until October 2020, Greg Hapgood is a former MISD school board member, part of the Marion Chamber of Commerce, on the Marion Water Board of Trustees and served as Marion’s youngest Mayor from 1969 to 1971. He worked as a funeral director with Murdoch Funeral Homes then a Neighbor Insurance Agent for 32 years. His four children and his wife are all Marion High School alumni.
Greg has stepped into a Past President role with the Marion Foundation board, allowing him more time to enjoy retirement. He has a mind full of facts and figures to share, and is an amazing resource about Marion history. He looks forward to seeing how the nice people involved in the Marion Foundation continue to raise as much money as possible to fill in the gaps and support the school. Thank you for your many years of service, Greg!