Harvey F. Zillmer '26
1987 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service
Harvey F. Zillmer '26 was a self-made man. Born in Waukesha in 1902, he earned his expenses to attend Carroll by working at the post office from 4:30 to 7:30 each morning and from 4:30 to 7:30 every night. He graduated from Carroll in 1926 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
In 1935, he bought an interest in Gamble’s Business Supply Store and three years later bought out the owner and renamed it Zillmer’s Office Supplies. Zillmer had the only Hallmark card outlet in the county. That, combined with a superior line of office supplies—and the progressive marketing ability of Harvey, made it one of the real success stories of downtown Waukesha.
He might be best remembered for his untiring attitude toward community service. He was president of the Waukesha Kiwanis Club, maintaining perfect attendance for 47 years. He served for 36 years, first as a director and then board chairman, of First Federal Savings. He headed the first fund drive for the Waukesha Symphony and served as president of the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce.
Harvey began his volunteer work at Carroll informally and then moved into more formal positions as a member and then president of the Alumni Association. In 1950, he was first elected to the board of trustees, a position he held for more than 30 years. He was chairman of the Buildings and Grounds committee during one of the campus’s formative building eras. He was extremely active in overseeing the physical plant and instrumental in helping the college acquire many of its contiguous properties. During that time Carroll built the Union, five dorms, Shattuck Auditorium, Van Male Gymnasium and the swimming pool. In 1977, Harvey went off the working board of trustees and became an honorary lifetime member.
Mr. Zillmer died in 1997 at the age of 95.