Sam and Milly Marcus arrived in Wichita in 1941, creating the second largest beef packing company in the nation, Excel, and becoming known as one of Wichita’s most philanthropic couples.
A child immigrant from Romania, Mr. Marcus attended the University of Chicago, eventually partnering with Harold Brown to found Excel in 1936 in Chicago, Illinois. After the successful move to Wichita and the formation of Kansas Beef Industry (KBI), and later, MBPXL, Mr. Marcus immersed himself in civic causes, serving on the boards of directors of more than 20 organizations, including Urban League, YMCA and WSU.
Mrs. Marcus’ volunteer work spanned more than 45 years serving on the boards for the Wichita Symphony, Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood and Project Beauty. Known as the ‘Tulip Lady’ for her untiring promotion of tulip bulbs from Holland as a fund-raising project for several local organizations, her unconditional giving earned her the proclaimed ‘Mildred J. Marcus Day’ in 1988.
Supporters of higher education, their initial gift in 1973 created the Marcus Center for Continuing Education at WSU, and in 1986, they established the Sam and Milly Marcus Endowed Scholarship Fund. Recipients of the Outstanding Citizen Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award in 1970, Mr. and Mrs. Marcus created a family tradition of giving, a legacy which continues today.