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George A. Markham
Memorial Fund Award

George’s legacy of living large and giving back to his community continues to live on through the George A. Markham Award, administered through the Oconomowoc Area Fund.

SCHOLARSHIP AWARD – $5,000 for one year for undergraduate degree programs.

ADDITIONAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENT – Must major in music, theater or arts.

Applicants who do not receive this award will automatically be considered for a $3,000 per year scholarship.

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The Story Behind the Scholarship

George Andrew Markham (1916–2009) grew up in the Oconomowoc area during a time when farmers plowed with horses and local fox hunters were once called upon to track down a marauding wolf. He attended Summit School, Milwaukee Country Day School, Deerfield Academy, and the University of Virginia.


As a young man, George lived large, excelling at horseback riding, track and field events, ice-skating, and ski-jumping. As the United States got swept into war, George left college to join the US Navy and trained as a naval aviator.


In 1942, he was assigned to the Pacific Theater, flew in the critical battles of Coral Sea and Midway, and was sunk off the carriers USS Yorktown and USS Lexington. As the war wound down, he was given the nerve-wracking assignment of flying with failing pilots and giving them one last chance to prove themselves. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

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George had an abiding love of history. He became a collector of Civil War books, artifacts, maps, and memorabilia, assembling one of the finest private collections in Wisconsin. In 1992, he donated this collection of over three thousand volumes to the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.


An avid golfer for most of his life, George served as president of the Oconomowoc Golf Club from 1955 to 1960. He thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the natural world and the importance of protecting the environment.


George was also an avid Rotarian for more than 55 years and twice served as District Governor. He also participated in Village of Oconomowoc Lake issues and stayed informed on national and international topics.

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George A. Markham

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