When Richard Manahan ’65, M.B.A. ’71, Ed.D. ’75, started at Illinois State University in the ‘60s, tuition was affordable to many students, but not to him.

Manahan had been in the U.S. Army and was a newlywed. But he pursued a degree in business teacher education and in 1965 graduated with a bachelor’s in business teacher education.

He worked in banking and with a national public accounting firm. But then he had an opportunity to return to Illinois State in administration and completed his master’s in business administration in ’71 and his doctorate in educational administration in 1975.

“My education at ISU is the best investment Lois and I have ever made,” he said. He and his wife wanted to return something to Illinois State but they couldn’t afford a major gift. That’s when his brother, an insurance agent, suggested a planned gift through a life insurance policy. It was inexpensive, and the premium payments were tax-deductible.

“I felt the policy empowered me to make a major gift with an affordable investment for the future of our university,” he said. “The faculty at ISU is second to none. They were and remain interested in their students first and foremost. They were interested in me as a person. I thank all the faculty and administration for their support over the years, not only when I was in the classroom, but many of them are counted as close friends today.”

The Manahans’ gift recognizes teaching excellence in the College of Education and College of Business. Richard Manahan has been inducted into both the College of Education and the College of Business Halls of Fame. In 2010 Manahan received Illinois State’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

He is vice president for University Advancement at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. He’s also president and chief executive officer of the East Tennessee State University Foundation and a professor there.

He and his wife have increased their planned gift through their wills.

“We are pleased that ISU customized a planned gift for the Manahan Family Excellence in Teaching Award Endowments to carry forth our legacy at ISU and for ISU,” he said. “We have for a number of years given annually to allow the teaching award to be funded and recognize teaching quality that inspires students to achieve their full learning potential both inside and outside the classroom. I would strongly encourage all alumni to leave their legacies for ISU.”

One thought on “Alum gives back to university where he earned three degrees

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