Archive for Wednesday, June 23, 1999


June 23, 1999


— A $2.2 million bequest from a 1919 Baker University graduate is the second-largest in the school's 141-year history, Baker announced Tuesday.

Virginia Gatch Markham, one of Baker's oldest graduates before she died recently, bequeathed the donation to the university's endowment for student scholarships.

"Ms. Markham devoted her entire life to educating young people and she had a special place in her heart for Baker," the university's president, Daniel Lambert, said in a statement.

"She was a remarkable woman. She lived rather simply and knew her work with young people was making a difference," he said. "Her gift will have a very significant impact on the university and the students we serve."

Markham was a high school teacher and a librarian. She died in February at age 100.

She established the Osmon Grant and Socia B. Markham Scholarship in 1986, in honor of her parents.

A native of Baldwin and graduate of Baldwin High School, Markham taught high school Latin and mathematics from 1919 to 1923 in Florence. She did postgraduate work at Columbia University, Western Reserve University and the University of Chicago, where she earned her master's degree.

She taught at high schools in Indiana and Ohio from 1925 to 1963. She later moved to Baldwin and then to Topeka.

Markham's gift is one of only two in Baker's history to exceed $2 million and the fifth of $1 million or more in the 1990s.

Her donation is second only to $2.7 in an estate gift by Edward and Sylvia Harter, Bryan, Tex., for student scholarships in 1990.

Baker's $31 million endowment has more than doubled in the past decade.

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