Marian Mullin Hancock: Santa Maria Valley's Very Own Angel
The Estate of Marian Hancock Provided a $3.25 Million Leadership Gift for the Cornerstone Campaign to Build the New Marian Regional Medical Center
Sir William Shakespeare once said, “Some…are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” There is perhaps no better example of this observation than Marian Mullin Hancock, an extraordinary woman who exemplified greatness in all its manifestations to tremendous benefit of our community.
Marian and her husband, Captain George Allan Hancock, left a legacy of tremendous impact on the Santa Maria Valley. In 1925, Hancock purchased the Santa Maria Valley railroad which served the valley’s vegetable growers and booming oil business for years. He also founded an aviation school, to train thousands of cadets during World War II. The school site later became Allan Hancock College, one of the area’s leading employers.
It was, however, Marian Hancock who had a specific vision for community healthcare. The Hancocks built the first X-ray department at the original Sisters’ Hospital, Marian Regional Medical Center’s predecessor, and when the community had grown beyond the capacity for the original building, they immediately came forward to offer support. In fact, after learning that Sisters’ Hospital had outgrown capacity, Mrs. Hancock invited Sr. Marilyn Ingram into her Cadillac and the two drove around Santa Maria looking for potential property. When Sr. Marilyn saw the property which is now home to the current hospital, she said to Mrs. Hancock, “I’d like some of that,” to which Mrs. Hancock replied, “You’ll get it.”
As the story goes, Marian Hancock posed a very important question to her husband while out on a Sunday drive. She explained the Sisters’ need for a larger hospital to serve the community and that a parcel of land on Church Street would make a desirable location. When Captain Hancock turned to his wife and asked who owned the property, she replied, “Why, you do.” What was once a ten acre tomato field belonging to the Hancocks was soon deeded to the Sisters of St. Francis and Marian Regional Medical Center was established.
In the early 1990s when the medical center was embarking on a project to build a new Heart Center, Marian Hancock once again stepped in and took the lead as honorary chair of the heart fund drive. Since 1994, the Marian Mullin Hancock Charitable Trust has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to the healthcare ministry of Marian and it is Mrs. Hancock’s trust that will provide $3.25 million to the New Hospital Expansion project.
Sue Sword, longtime friend and financial advisor of Marian Hancock, recounts, “She was always giving. She felt it was her duty to see that peoples’ needs were met and I always considered Marian Hancock Santa Maria’s very own angel.”