Donald E. Young leaves a lasting legacy to his alma mater, Iowa Wesleyan University and local librariesWritten by Theresa Rose on December 18, 2015
Donald E. Young, long-time friend and alum of Iowa Wesleyan and local Mount Pleasant historian, has left a $385,617 bequest to the Iowa Wesleyan University J. Raymond Chadwick Library.
“We are deeply indebted to Mr. Young for his strong commitment to Iowa Wesleyan as evident in this bequest. It is not often that someone has the opportunity to positively touch so many in their passing but through this gift Mr. Young has certainly accomplished that task. This bequest will help support our library educational needs and will touch thousands of students over the decades to come. This is certainly a blessing to us and we are most thankful for our friendship with Mr. Young,” said DeWayne Frazier, vice president for academic affairs.
Young began his teaching career at Maple Grove #6, a country school near Salem, Iowa, where he remained for two years. Following that were positions in Rome, Iowa, teaching 5th – 8th graders and Mount Pleasant Junior High, teaching 7th grade English and math.
Harlan Elementary was Young’s first position as principal; he also taught 5th and 6th graders. He was selected principal of Van Allen Elementary in 1963 and in 1966, became Director of Curriculum for the school district. From 1973 to 1993, Mr. Young was principal of Pleasant Lawn School. During this time he was also the principal of Manning and the preschool at IW. He started the Talented/Gifted Program in the Mount Pleasant School system and in 1966 was chosen Director of the Head Start Program. Prior to his retirement in 1993, Young was selected as Iowa’s Elementary School Administrator of the Year, 1992. In 2005, Young was selected as Mount Pleasant’s Citizen of the Year.
Young loved libraries and was instrumental in establishing a library in each of Mount Pleasant’s elementary schools. He served on the Mount Pleasant Public Library Board for 24 years, retiring in 2012. He was a 1950 graduate of Iowa Wesleyan where he majored in history and minored in education and he received his master’s degree in education from the University of Iowa in 1957. He passed away on March 15, 2014.
Iowa Wesleyan has earmarked their bequest to increase library resources based on the University’s strategic plan. The Mount Pleasant Public Library and Mount Pleasant Public Schools shared the news that they are also recipients of Mr. Young’s generosity. The $387,617 they each received will be designated for the purchase of books.