The Endowed Funds booklet published by Lawrence in 1993 indicates that The McMillen Chair was established through his bequest in 1903. Mr. McMillen was an Oshkosh lumber man, a Lawrence University trustee from 1876 to 1898, and an underwriter of the first physical education program for women at Lawrence University in 1891.
McMillen was born near Lake George, NY and came to Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1854 to run a lumber, sash and door business. He was apparently quite successful and plowed his creative energies into the work of the Methodist church, being active in the church for 22 years and working for the YMCA. Professionally, McMillen was the President of the Fox River Paper Company and a Director of the First National Bank of Oshkosh. Philanthropically, he was the principal donor to the Algoma Avenue Methodist church in Oshkosh and the second largest donor to Ormsby Hall at Lawrence (after Mr. Ormsby himself).
So convinced was he of Lawrence's merits that he also sent two children to school here. In an Appleton Post-Crescent article of May 5, 1958, Marguerite Schumann cited McMillen as "one of an unlikely trio of godparents to the science department at Lawrence college [whose] combined benevolence has underwritten a half-century of top-drawer teaching in the campus's Stephenson hall."
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