The Markowski-Leach Scholarship

The Markowski-Leach Scholarship


Deadline: March 31, 2021


The Markowski-Leach Scholarship fund was established as a result of the vision of Tom Markowski and Jim Leach. Tom and Jim were a gay couple living in San Francisco. As the AIDS crisis spread in the early 1980s, they talked about what they would like their legacy to be. They “wanted to make a difference” and felt that, at that time, there was a dearth of positive role models for gays and lesbians. This became the defining theme of the scholarships: to assist in the education of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people who would then have an impact on other LGBTQ people through their works.

The Scholarship fund was part of a bequest from the estate of Jim Leach, which reflected their mutual desire to provide financial assistance to LGBTQ people trying to further their education. Tom passed away 2 years before Jim. Both died as a result of HIV. According to the terms of the bequest, the Scholarship Committee is directed to evaluate applications seeking to identify LGBTQ individuals who are likely to:
“…make a substantial contribution to society, thereby enhancing society’s perception of gay and lesbian people as well as increasing the gay and lesbian community’s self-esteem…”

Selected candidates will demonstrate their dedication to excellence in their lives through service, education, or employment. Scholarship are awarded to applicants whose leadership potential is evident regardless of their chosen field of study or financial need.