Fay McBeath Foundation Records Biographical Note/Scope and Content

The Faye McBeath Foundation Records includes the annual reports, meetings of trustees, grants, financials, office files, photographs, and electronic records of the organization.

Marquette University acquired the Faye McBeath Foundation Records in 2014.

Processed by McKayla Sutton and Bill Fliss in 2014.

Biographical Note /Administrative History

Born in Milwaukee in 1882 to Violette Neiman McBeath and Charles Henry McBeath, Faye McBeath became an advocate for for her community both in life and after her death through the establishment of the Faye McBeath Foundation. After graduating from the Milwaukee Normal School, she briefly worked as a public school teacher before returning to the University of Wisconsin to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1913. McBeath taught at North Division High School until 1916, when she went to work with her uncle, Lucius W. Nieman, founder of the Milwaukee Journal Company. She inherited a fortune upon his death with a claim to one-fourth of his holdings in the company, and with this money, she established the Faye McBeath Foundation in 1964. In addition to creating the Lucius W. Nieman Chair of Journalism at Marquette University in honor of her uncle, McBeath also supported a variety of programs in the community that provided support for children, the elderly, the blind, and the arts over the course of several decades. When she died in 1967, the majority of her estate was used to fund her foundation.

The Faye McBeath Foundation was created to provide grants to organizations that operate within the state of Wisconsin. The major funding priorities included children, aging and the elderly, health and health education, and civic and government affairs. Upon the establishment of the foundation, a board of trustees was put in place to evaluate grant applications and decide which programs would receive funding. Along with a portfolio manager, the trustees were responsible for ensuring that the foundation's assets were completely dispersed by 2014.

Over the course of the Faye McBeath Foundation's history, several grantees changed or altered their organizations' names. In some cases, additional financial overseers were included in the grant applications, which explain discrepancies in titles. Click here to view a PDF of these name changes.

Scope and Content

Series 1, Annual Reports, 1970-2013 (0.6 cubic feet), is composed of the annual reports of the Faye McBeath Foundation and is arranged chronologically.

Series 2, Meetings of Trustees, 1964-2012 (11.4 cubic feet), includes the records and minutes of the meetings of trustees. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series 3, Grants, 1968-2015 (40.2 cubic feet), contains grants awarded by the foundation to local and regional organizations. These files include letters of intent, grant applications, correspondence, progress reports, and final reports on the projects funded by the Faye McBeath Foundation. Grant applications that were declined by the foundation have been discarded, though records of these projects can be found in the Meetings of the Trustees (series 2). The series is arranged chronologically and alphabetically thereunder.

Series 4, Financials, 1977-2014 (2.4 cubic feet), is composed of the audits, budgets, investment portfolios, and other financial documents of the Faye McBeath Foundation. The series is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically thereunder. Boxes A to E of the series are restricted financial records that will be destroyed between 2016 and 2024.

Series 5, Office Files, 1882-2014 (5.1 cubic feet), is made up of the subject files of the foundation, including policies and procedures, grantmaking data, the history project, the records of Howard J. Tobin, the McBeath Community Partner Endowment Project, partner programs, and materials related to the trustees. For researchers interested in grants made by the Faye McBeath Foundation, also consult this series for major partner programs, including the Institute for Aging and Adult Life. This series also contains the grant alpha lists, which identify the organizations, projects, and grant amounts awarded each year in a spreadsheet format.

Series 6, Photographs, circa 1880s-2010s (0.3 cubic feet), consists of photographs related to the Faye McBeath Foundation, including portraits of Faye McMcBeath and images related to her life, as well as photos of the trustees, and grant projects that were funded by the foundation. In addition, the series also contains a few negatives, including portraits of McBeath family members. The series is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series 7, Electronic Records, (in progress), will include the electronic records and webpage of the Faye McBeath Foundation. Please contact an archivist for more details.

Archival materials from the Raynor Memorial Libraries


Marquette Archives