Helen Gates, Marge Gates’ mother, sewed her prom dress, above. Jane Chapman and Marge
Gates cofounded the Center for Women’s Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. in 1972.
During her earliest days as a coed at the University of Maryland, Gates developed a crush
on fellow classmate, Jim Leutze. Though they went their separate ways, married and started
families with other spouses, they would rekindle their romance decades later.
Reflecting on his wife’s career, Leutze, now chancellor emeritus of UNCW, says, “Marge
went from the CIA to advocacy, to then practical work dealing with problems of inequality.
I’ve never thought of it that way myself, but if you look at her career of marching against
the war in Vietnam, demonstrating for women’s rights, and fighting legal cases and various
other things, she goes from that to the agriculture department and the food stamp program,
and waste fraud and abuse. She moves along in her career, in a sense, in a logical way, from
strident advocacy, to legal advocacy, to practical, governmental intervention to help the less
fortunate. This is the progression of her life.”
During their decades of friendship, Leutze relied on Gates for counsel and advice, including at
key times during his own career: before he accepted positions as president of Hampden-Sydney
College in Virginia and as chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 1990.
“Marge always was able to do long-range thinking,” Leutze says. “She always was very
analytical and very calm and reasoned in her reactions. … Not overly emotional, not ideo-logically
biased … but a solid, reasoned, thoughtful person. I think that was her success.”
Gates traveled the U.S. and its territories speaking about women’s causes for a national and