A lasting legacy

Alum’s impact lives on through scholarship

Charlotte Markos, ’69, was a trailblazer in the truest sense of the word.

Posted 3:48 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A new scholarship for UW-La Crosse marketing and management students honors a successful business owner who was one of the first women to graduate from the College of Business Administration.  

Charlotte Markos, ’69, was a trailblazer in the truest sense of the word. While earning her business degree from UWL — rare for women at the time — she continued to work at the family business, Salem Markos & Sons, Inc., at 313-315 Pearl Street in La Crosse.  

After an outstanding career and active retirement, Charlotte died on April 28, 2020. She leaves a legacy of kindness, generosity and community involvement that serves as an example for future business leaders.  

“Charlotte was an intelligent, successful, generous and modest woman who made a difference in the lives she touched,” says her sister Joan R. Markos-Horejs on behalf of the family. “Charlotte made a positive impact on her family, friends, church and the La Crosse community.” 

Through the Charlotte M. Markos Scholarship Endowment Fund in the College of Business Administration at UW-La Crosse, that positive impact will continue.  

The fund, created by Charlotte, endows three $1,000 scholarships for marketing or management students each year. Recipients must be enrolled full-time at UWL, be a junior or senior, have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and be female. Special consideration will be given to students actively involved on the UWL campus and/or in the La Crosse community.  

“Charlotte valued the education she earned at UWL and wanted to give back by establishing this scholarship endowment fund,” Joan notes.

Joan recalls Charlotte saying, “My hope is for the recipients of this scholarship to be proud of their accomplishments and to become successful and happy in their lives.”  

Many knew Charlotte from her time as vice president and co-manager of the Salem Markos & Sons, Inc., retail clothing stores. She co-owned the three stores at Pearl Street and Valley View Mall in La Crosse and Center 90 in Onalaska with her brother, Salem, and sisters Regina, Jane and Joan.  

Charlotte and her siblings were the last generation to continue to operate the family business. When they retired in 2005, the business retired with them.  

“Charlotte often remarked that she and her siblings’ greatest joy was serving four generations of customers, many with whom they developed and nurtured long-lasting friendships,” Joan says. Joan remembers Charlotte saying, “We took pride in the family business and what we were able to accomplish.”  

Beyond her career, Charlotte’s legacy lies in her campus and community involvement. She was a member of the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma (Eta Rho chapter), served on the CBA’s Advisory Board and was a charter member of the Silver Eagles, a group of 25-year CBA graduates. 

Through her work with the Silver Eagles, Charlotte participated in the CBA’s Take an Eagle to Lunch program, mentoring young women pursuing degrees and careers in business.  

“She was pleased to support and encourage them to earn their degrees and pursue their career paths,” Joan explains. “By sharing her experiences and expertise in the business world, she was able to provide guidance and instill confidence in those she mentored.”  

Charlotte’s parents, Mark S. and Julia M. Markos, believed in the value of a good education. Her father, brother, Salem M. Markos II, and sisters Regina M. Kilbey, Jane M. Simmons and Joan R. Markos-Horejs all attended UWL.  

Joan earned her master’s degree in education, graduated magna cum laude and taught education courses at UWL.  

Joan stated: “Charlotte’s life was truly an example of a life well lived. The Charlotte M. Markos Scholarship Endowment Fund will continue her legacy.”

Markos

Charlotte Markos, ’69, was a trailblazer. While earning her business degree from UWL — rare for women at the time — she continued to work at the family business, Salem Markos & Sons, Inc.

See an Alumni Profile on Markos-Kann from the spring 2006 issue of “Building Bridges.”