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Obituary: Christopher Randolph

Christopher Randolph, retired President and CEO of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, died at the age of 64 on May 22, 2009 in New York. The Marine Corps announced his death from brain cancer, on behalf of his wife, Patsy, and children, Kate and Christopher. Christopher led a life of service, with the staunch belief in the power of education and a fierce devotion to Marine tradition. Christopher Fitz Randolph was born in New York City on July 14, 1944, the younger of two sons of Haughton and Gwen Randolph. He was raised in New York City and East Hampton and attended The Browning School, where he served as a trustee and chairman of the board. In 1968, he received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was the 16th generation of the Randolphs to attend the University and went on to serve on their national Development Council. Upon graduation, Christopher voluntarily served in the Marine Corps as executive officer and commanding officer of Mortar Battery, 2d Battalion, 12th marines in Vietnam and Okinawa. Following his tours, he finished a Marine Reserve commitment in 1973 as a captain. This was just the beginning of a long, multi-disciplined career and the foundation of his leadership. Upon his return from Vietnam, Christopher accepted a position with New York’s senior United States Senator, Jacob K. Javits, as a senior staff member in Washington and later as a finance director for his campaign. While in Washington D.C., he met his wife Patsy Lyons Randolph, who served as a special assistant for the Senator. After leaving Washington DC and politics behind, finance beckoned. During the 80s and 90s, he worked as a vice president at Salomon Brothers, and as a managing director of Lehman Brothers in public finance. Following his Wall Street career, he served as executive vice president and director of Academic Management Services, a leader in tuition payment plans and student loans. Thirty-five years after his honorable discharge from the United State Marine Corps, he returned to Washington and accepted the role of President and CEO of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “Leading this Foundation and serving the needs of our Marine families have been a great privilege, bringing together so many important aspects of my life – my time in the U.S. Marine Corps, my profound belief in the power of higher education and a focus on family.” Christopher wrote shortly after his diagnosis. The mission of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is to provide scholarships for higher education to deserving sons and daughters of Marines and children of former Marines, with particular attention being given to children whose parent was killed or wounded in action. In 1962, after learning that a Marine World War II Medal of Honor recipient could not afford to send his child to college, Brigadier General Martin F. Rockmore and a small group of his Marine friends, including Jack Kreindler, the owner of the 21 Club, decided to help. General Rockmore and his Band of Brothers organized a charity ball and used the proceeds to provide scholarship assistance. In December of that year, the first “Leatherneck Ball” was held in New York City and enough funds were raised to award a $1,500 scholarship. Since 1962, they have awarded more than 22,500 scholarships and bonds totaling more than $39.2 million. Mr. Randolph once shared: “We are all Americans looking to honor our past, preserve our ideals and invest in our future.” In addition to Patsy, his wife of 35 years, and his daughter Kate and son Christopher, Mr. Randolph is survived by two brothers, Haughton Randolph of Mexico City, Mexico, and Frank Randolph, of Longview, WA; his sister, Anne Randolph von Kuhn, of Birmingham, AL, and his mother, Gwendolyn Randolph Franklin, of New York City. Arrangements were made by Oyster Bay Funeral Home. The family has requested donations in Chris’s name be made to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Memorial Services will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Cold Spring Harbor.