Alfred L. Block '50
2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service
While in high school, it was Al's mother's fondest dream for him to attend Carroll. After serving with the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II, Alfred L. Block '50 was admitted into Carroll in 1946 and was able to use the G.I. Bill to support his education. Majoring in history, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1950 and went on to receive a Master of Arts from Marquette University in 1954.
Actively involved in public education for over fifty years, as both a teacher and administrator, Al's teaching experience includes tenures at Milwaukee Boys Technical School, West Milwaukee High School, Franklin High School, and as an adjunct at Carroll, MATC, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Mount Mary College. His administrative experience includes over 25 years of service as director of instruction and superintendent of Franklin Public Schools in Franklin, Wis.
Al served as the K-12 environmental education coordinator for the South Milwaukee School District and as a member of the Wisconsin Civic Action Task Force. His passion for education also spread as far as East Africa, where he oversaw the construction of a primary school in rural Kenya in honor of his late wife, Carol. The school opened in the fall of 2010, and includes a new library and teacher resource room.
Block’s commitment to serving others has not been limited to his professional career. Ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian Church, he has been an active member for his entire adult life—including volunteer work on Habitat for Humanity projects in Milwaukee. He also served as a state and congressional district coordinator for the "We the People" Program since 1987; curriculum committee for the National Ice Age Trail Foundation; member of the Franklin Historical Society; and volunteer for the nonprofit group Ducks Unlimited, dedicated to restoring and preserving wetland habitat throughout North America.
Al attributes Carroll for providing the basis for a well-defined career and for imparting an ethical foundation for the family he raised. Block's connections to Carroll run deep; his late wife Carol was a Carroll graduate, class of 1951, and two of his three children, David '76 and Deborah '74, are Carroll alumni. All three of his children ended up in careers where service to others was most important.
His daughter Deborah currently serves as senior pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee and is a member of Carroll's Board of Trustees, while David completed 22 years of full-time teaching in environmental science and geography at Carroll and is currently holds professor emeritus status. Al's son, Dennis, is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and is currently serving as a property strategies vice president for the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin-Southeast Region. Al lives in Milwaukee, Wis. and remains a commitment and loyal alumnus.