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Schoolland, Marian (1902-1984) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Schoolland, Marian (1902-1984)

Historical Note:

Daughter of Calvin Professor Klaas Schoolland, Marian Schoolland was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1902. Right out of high school Marian began to teach first grade at Oakdale Christian School. Marian enjoyed working with children, but she felt she was too tender-hearted to discipline her students.  She decided to enroll at Calvin College in 1928, graduating in 1934. While she pursued her master's degree from University of Michigan, she traveled to the Grand Traverse Bay area. She fell in love with the area and she even bought herself a small cabin there to write and study the surrounding nature.

Schoolland went on to teach freshman English part-time at Calvin College. While she taught, her own writing began to reflect her passion of nature. She even taught a course in nature study.  Her desire for writing about nature began to flourish as she started to write articles for Young Calvinist magazine and for the "young people" page in The Banner. In 1938 Schoolland wrote her first children's book, More Wonderful than Fairy Tales. By 1945 a family friend and owner of a publishing company in Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans, asked her to write a Bible story for children.  Due to her success, Eerdmans extended to her a series of assignments. From there Schoolland went on to write a number of books under Eerdmans publishing company.

For five months Schoolland served as a missionary in New Mexico. From that experience she wrote the children's books Little Shepherds of Navajo Land and Little Cousins of Navajo Land. Schoolland also wrote books for adults. She wrote The Story of Van Raalte and De Kolonie: The Church that God Transplanted, both dealing with Christian Reformed church history.

In 1980, Schoolland was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Calvin Alumni Association. On July 31, 1984 Marian Schoolland passed away due to a stroke. She is remember as one of first women in the Christian Reformed Church to devote her career to writing and one of the first women to write for The Banner.

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