Sam and Hanna Peggy Schiffman:  The Marti Bekey Scholarship

Sam and Hanna Peggy Schiffman: The Marti Bekey Scholarship

Imagine growing up with a love for learning and not being allowed to pursue higher education because you are a girl! Marti Bekey, an immigrant from the Czech Republic had firsthand knowledge of loving education but being limited by societal and family expectations of the times. Marti grew up in a household with a father who believed that money for education “was wasted on girls who were only going to get married and have children.”

Although Marti did not attend college, her love of learning would continue throughout her life and she would instill that love and desire for education in her children and 27 grand and great grandchildren.

Marti Bekey lived to be 100 years old. During her life, she would see two of her children attend Pasadena City College, a place that Marti believed offered hope, the opportunity for education and a 2nd chance for non-traditional students.
Sam and Peggy Schiffman, Marti’s daughter and son-in-law, sought to honor Marti, establishing the Marti Bekey Scholarship fund for students interested in pursuing academic or vocational education. At the time of Marti’s death, to the delight of her family, they discovered books, recently checked out by Marti that had to be returned to the library.


The Marti Bekey Scholarship will allow me to take care of my health. I have disabilities, and working full-time while going to school full-time is physically impossible. Because of this family’s generous help, I will be able to dedicate myself to my studies and take care of myself physically.
—Susan Axeen, 2015 Recipient