"When you join something like this, you don’t leave.”

Author: Carroll University

Published Date: 10/29/2020

Categories: Alumni

Glenn ’58 and Gail (Ardis) Schilling ’60 both grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, but did not meet until they connected in the lunch line one day in the Carroll Student Union in 1956.

“That’s my fondest memory,” said Glenn, who has made many more memories with Gail since those early student days. Together, they have attended 60 consecutive years of Homecoming events at their alma mater and spent an equal amount of years as donors to the university’s Old Main Society.

Glenn recalls how he chose Carroll over two other liberal arts schools when considering his path beyond Green Bay East High School in 1954. The other two did not have a business administration major, which became his field of study. Carroll did and Glenn noted that “was rather unusual in those days for a small college.”

A graduate of Green Bay West High School, Gail had friends who had decided on Carroll but it was a visit from a very persuasive admissions counselor, Shirley Hilger, that convinced Gail to give Carroll a go.

“Shirley Hilger came to my house and visited with my mother and I. She was a hard lady to resist so that’s why I chose Carroll,” Gail recalled.

Besides meeting Gail, Glenn marks another fond Carroll memory by simply noting an address: 130 McCall Street. That’s where he lived with “five guys who roomed together in a room at the top of the stairs.” It was the Beta Pi Epsilon house.

“We became fast friends and that’s continued to this day,” he said.

Gail, too, became a part of the campus’ Greek life, pledging Alpha Gamma Delta and saying today, “I have lifelong friends that I made at that time.”

Learn about Carroll's Fraternity and Sorority Life >

It wasn’t long after graduation that Glenn and Gail committed themselves to giving back, appreciating the opportunity they had for a college education and wanting to help those Pioneers coming after them to afford the same experience.

“We think it’s important to provide the current generation as well as future generations of students the opportunities to have that same environment that Carroll represents so well,” Glenn said.

The Schillings share stories of the relationships that began more than 60 years ago and lifelong friends that, like them, are also members of the Old Main Society. Those connections remain strong and give them an opportunity to share their mutual care for their alma mater through financial support.

Glenn said he can always count on running into friends and fellow donors at Carroll’s annual Old Main Society dinner.

“I think it’s interesting that all of those guys have, after all of these years, 62 years, have continued to be members of the Old Main Society,” he said. 

Gail noted, “I think that when you join something like the John Adams Savage or the Old Main Society, you don’t leave it.”

Glenn said he has appreciated in Carroll’s history its commitment to the liberal arts as well as its relationship with the Presbyterian Church. And as the university has grown in its own history, it continues to do “an outstanding job of keeping up with the changing times.” He noted that Carroll has built on its liberal arts foundation to develop new career fields, new majors, and new alternatives for students, such as the health sciences, actuarial science, a master’s in business administration, and partnerships with other institutions.

Added Gail: “We just feel that it’s very important that we continue to support Carroll so that other people can go there and find what we found and end up with a wonderful life that we have.”

Learn more about the Carroll Old Main Society

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