Donald R. Manecke '39

1990 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service

As a child of the depression, Don Manecke '39 learned the value of hard work.  Don, a business and economics major, was the youngest of four children and the only member of his family to attend college.  With full class loads, Don worked his way through school washing windows, cutting grass and working as a janitor. He was actively involved on the tennis team, class president, Pi Gamma Mu, interfraternity council, and Phi Theta Pi.  However, the best thing that happened to Don at Carroll was that he met his wife, Dorothy (Anderson) Manecke '39, a history and biology major.
According to Don, “Giving is what matters. The more we live, the more we should give.” Following graduation from Carroll in 1939, Don took a job with the Heil Company in Milwaukee. Even in the early lean times, Manecke gave financial support to Carroll. He served on the first Alumni Council at Carroll, was a member of the Hall of Fame advisory committee, member of the Board of Trustees in the 1970s, and served as an adviser and president of the Alumni Board for more than 20 years for Phi Theta Pi. Manecke also organized his classmates for their 50th reunion and was rewarded with a turnout of more than 50 percent of the class. Don and Dorothy also established a scholarship fund at Carroll to help students with financial need in their schooling giving back to a place that meant so much to them.
But Manecke’s contributions went beyond his college interests; his volunteer involvement has been tremendous. He was a member of the Executive Board of the Potawatomi Council for the Boy Scouts for many years and served on the disadvantaged youth committee. In 1984 the National Boy Scout Council gave Don the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award for outstanding and distinguished service to the nation and community.
As a member of the Rotary Club, he also served several leadership positions including president of the Brookfield, Wis., Rotary Club and as a member of their Board of Directors he was involved in various committees. As Rotary District Governor for southeast Wisconsin, Manecke organized a financial drive for victims of the tragic 1983 Barneveld tornado. The Rotary has long acknowledged Don for his “unselfish commitment of time and personal resources, unique character and dedication.” 
Perhaps one of the most unique tributes to Manecke came from across the ocean in the hills of southern India. It is there a small, yet beautiful church which bears the name “The Donald Manecke Memorial Church.” Don first became involved with the building of this church when he first served on the Benevolent Board of the First Congregational Church in Wauwatosa, Wis. The board made some small contributions to a group of young Indian people interested in organizing a church in their homeland. Later, this same group approached Manecke individually asking him to help support their project. He asked what it would cost and was told “five cents a day and a handful of rice.” He couldn’t say no and ended up financing the entire building including a church bell, electric keyboard for music service and boots for the workers.
It’s clear that throughout his life Don has always been involved in his country and community, working to serve them in the best way possible. Don continues to reside in Brookfield, Wis.

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Panoramic View of campus