Foundation Scholarship Program
Another very important program to the community is the Madison Rotary Foundation Scholarship program. Each year, several area high school students receive four-year college scholarship assistance based on their academic standing, character and leadership abilities, contributions to their schools and communities and financial need.
In 2015, twenty-three high school seniors were awarded scholarships. These awards totaled $280,000 and ranged from $625 to $9,000 per year for four years.
The Madison Rotary Foundation Scholarships provide awards through 13 named scholarship funds within our Madison Rotary Foundation. Gifts of $50,000 or more to the Madison Rotary Foundation are used to establish a named scholarship within our Foundation. A Rotary Committee annually selects students in accordance with the wishes of the donors. Applicants chosen are students with high academic standing with character and leadership ability who have made contributions to their schools and communities and have financial need.
In 2008, a Synergy Scholarship Fund was established in celebration of our Madison Rotary Foundation’s 75th Anniversary. Now all members have an opportunity to assist in funding scholarships. Once the fund reached $50,000 in 2009, our Foundation named its first Synergy Scholarship recipient.
The 13 named funds are as follows:
- Nathan F. Brand
- Frederic S. Brandenburg
- Dick Goldberg
- Harry L. French
- Perry & Virginia Henderson
- Louis Hirsig
- Thomas Leonard
- Irving & Dorothy Levy Family
- Andrew A. McBeath
- Regina M. Millner
- Synergy Scholarship Fund
- Mike & Patty Wilson
- Worzala Family
Here are brief biographies on the 13 named funds:
Nathan (Nate) F. Brand
In 2003, Nate Brand was the first living Rotarian to establish a scholarship fund, setting an example that others have followed. Born and raised in Monroe, Wisconsin, he came to Madison as a banker after graduating from Ripon College. Over the intervening years, he applied his financial acumen to the success of various businesses and many real estate projects. Nate has been active in the community, serving as a director on numerous business and community boards. Nate takes great pride in Rotary. He has a 100% attendance record since joining in 1979, served as a club director and was president of the Madison Rotary Foundation for two years. Nate holds 13 Paul Harris Fellowships.
Frederic (Heggie) S. Brandenburg
Mr. Brandenburg was the president of Democrat Printing, Inc., predecessor company to Webcrafters, Inc. A past secretary, president, and district governor of Rotary, he was also a philanthropist and civic leader who actively supported the Vilas Park Zoo and the United Way. His special interest in young people and in scouting prompted him to donate the land for Camp Brandenburg. In addition, he established a scholarship program prior to his death.
Harry L. French
As a young man, Harry L. French came to Madison from Monroe in 1905. In 1917 he became a General Agent for Northwest Mutual Life Insurance Co. Mr. French became a Rotarian in 1919 and was president of the club from 1925‑26. He was a charter member of the Madison Rotary Foundation. He passed away in 1961, leaving his estate in trust to his wife with the provision that after her death (which occurred in 1973), it would be used to provide scholarships for worthy students.
Dick holds MBA and MSSW degrees from UW Madison. He has been involved in real estate and investments, is a psychotherapist, and has been a public radio and television producer- host. Presently he is a counselor at the UW-Madison Counseling Center, and also hosts a bi- weekly podcast featuring interviews with experts in business and psychology. He has been a member of Rotary since 1997 and has served on the Rotary Scholarship Committee as well as the Community Grants Committee. He has received two Paul Harris Fellows.
Perry & Virginia Henderson
Drs. Perry and Virginia Henderson established a Scholarship Fund within the Madison Rotary Foundation in 2011. Perry joined Rotary in 1981, has served as club president, Madison Rotary Foundation president, governor of Rotary District 6250, and was recipient of the Werner Meritorious Service Award. A retired UW Professor and Obstetrician, he specialized in high-risk pregnancies. He served as president of The Perinatal Foundation and 100 Black Men, was active in Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way of Dane County, Madison Symphony Orchestra, and was named Father of the Year by the American Diabetes Association’s local chapter. Virginia joined Rotary in 1995. She holds a Ph.D. and worked as a school psychologist and Diversity Consultant with the Madison Metropolitan School District. Virginia is a founding member of Women in Focus and African American Ethnic Academy, has been active with the Madison Children’s Museum, Madison Community Foundation, Urban League of Greater Dane County, Madison Civics Club, and is past member of our Scholarship Committee. Virginia received Woman of the Year Award from Mothers of Simpson Street in 1994 and the Madison Area Service Club Ruth Gordon Service Award. Through their careers and volunteer services, Virginia and Perry have worked together to eliminate racial disparities while improving lives of minority youth in our community. They have received numerous awards as a couple for this work, including the Rotary Senior Service Award, Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, and the Philanthropy Day Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr. Hirsig came to Madison from his native Monroe in 1904 and was owner of Wolff, Kubly and Hirsig Company in Madison. He was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Madison, served as president in 1917‑18, and held 100% attendance for more than 46 years. He passed away in 1959. In 1994, Mrs. Josephine Hirsig Martin established the Hirsig Scholarship Fund in the name of her father, Louis Hirsig.
Thomas A. Leonard, M.D., was born in Middletown, Ohio and came to Madison in 1924. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Madison for 51 years, serving on its board of directors from 1943‑45. Dr. Leonard was a well known Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Madison General Hospital and served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin. He was a community leader, philanthropist, writer and humanitarian and was a pioneer and founder of several medical organizations. Upon his death in 1989 at the age of 91, Dr. Leonard established a scholarship fund in the Madison Rotary Foundation.
Irving and Dorothy Levy Family
The Levy family has a long-established history of commitment to the Madison community, and they have been involved in Rotary since the 1960’s. The family has owned a wholesale beverage business, Phillips Distribution Corporation, since the 1920’s. Irving Levy, the father, had been involved in the business until his death in 2011. His sons, Jeff and Marv are also involved in the business and son Phil owns Phillip Levy Fine Furniture & Interior Design. Dorothy Levy, beloved wife of Irving and loving mother of Jeff, Marv and Phil, passed away in 2002. The Levy family was honored with the Tocqueville Society Award by United Way of Dane County in 2010. In 2004, the family established the Irving and Dorothy Levy Family Scholarship Fund within the Madison Rotary Foundation.
Andrew (Andy) A. McBeath
Andy McBeath grew up in Madison and received his M.D. Degree from the U.W.-Madison Medical School in 1961. Andy was Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics for 25 years and designed a hip prosthesis, a man-made joint used in hip replacement surgeries. He joined the Rotary Club of Madison in 1977. Upon his death in 2002, Andy established a scholarship fund within the Madison Rotary Foundation.
Regina M. Millner
Regina Millner moved to Madison in 1976, as a wife and mother of three sons. In 1992, after graduating from UW-Madison School of Law and Graduate School of Business, she founded a commercial appraisal company and later a consulting firm that specializes in the analysis of complex real estate projects. Active in the Madison community, she has headed significant community projects and served in leadership positions on boards of business companies and non-profit organizations. Regina is currently vice president of the UW System Board of Regents. Regina values her Rotary membership, serving as Club president, 2006 to 2007; sergeant-at-arms, trustee of the Madison Rotary Foundation and chair of the scholarship committee. Regina holds 10 Paul Harris Fellows and in 2009, received a Rotary Club of Madison Service Award. Regina’s scholarship fund was created in 2008.
Synergy Scholarship Fund
A Synergy Scholarship Fund was established within our Madison Rotary Foundation in 2008, in celebration of our Foundation’s 75th Anniversary. This new fund provided an opportunity for Rotarians and individuals to make contributions to enhance our annual four-year college Scholarship Program. Synergy allows Rotarians and individuals to combine efforts and, together, support the Foundation’s scholarship program, taking pride in being able to provide a helping hand to deserving and needy high school graduates from our community. This is the essence of synergy: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Mike & Patty Wilson
Mike and Patty Wilson established an endowment fund within our Madison Rotary Foundation in memory of Mike’s mother, Mollie Wilson, who passed away in 2004 in New Zealand. Mike joined the Rotary Club of Madison in 1987, has maintained 100% attendance since 1995 and holds 6 Paul Harris Fellows. He has served on the Club Board of Directors and is a past chair of the Youth Awards Committee. Mike’s wife, Patty, shares his interest in helping youth in our community to succeed.
David and Julie Worzala established the Worzala Family Scholarship Fund in 2013. David joined the Rotary Club of Madison in 2004. He has served on the Scholarship Committee and is a Paul Harris Fellow. David grew up in Madison, and he and his eight siblings benefitted greatly from the emphasis on education they received from their parents–both professors at the UW-Madison–and the educational opportunities available in this community. David has spent over 20 years in public service at the federal, state, and local levels, focusing on government finances. Most recently, David served as Dane County Treasurer and is currently a financial consultant.
Please note: Scholar nominations are selected on the advice of Madison high school guidance counselors and student peers. If you or a student you know (must be a high school senior) are interested in being nominated, please contact your high school counselor.