Donnelly alumnus and Board member George Breidenthal, Jr. ’69 passed away on June 23 at age 67, leaving the Donnelly and Kansas City, Kansas communities saddened.
Breidenthal began his higher educational experience at Kansas State University, then came to Donnelly to earn his associate degree. He then earned a bachelor's degree from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia.
Former Donnelly President Dr. John Murry (1987-98) offered a reflection on Breidenthal's time at the College.
"He began his freshman year at a state university and things just didn't work out academically for him," Murry said. "Then he came to Donnelly and visited with Sister Faith, who agreed to give him 'a second chance.' He was always so appreciative for that opportunity.
During my tenure at Donnelly, I often heard Donnelly referred to as 'Second Chance U,' frequently in a derisive manner. Personally, I thought of it as a badge of honor since that second chance was given to people like George Breidenthal, who certainly made the best of it and contributed so much to his community."
Serving his alma mater well, Breidenthal was a member of the Board beginning in 1991 and held the Chairman of the Board position after that. Additionally, he served as President of Kansas City Women’s Professional Basketball, Inc. and was an at-large representative on the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools Board of Education.
"I met with George early in my Donnelly College journey and was always impressed with his passion for Donnelly and its students, faculty and staff," said Board Chair Dick Flanigan. "We will seek to honor George's legacy in our work going forward."
In 2012, Breidenthal was honored at SHINE, Donnelly’s annual scholarship celebration, for his longstanding support to the College. In addition to leading initial campus transformation efforts, Breidenthal cheered on sports teams, participated in College events, knew many students personally and gave generously to the institution. The Breidenthal Family Endowed Scholarship was created after SHINE 2012 to commemorate his many years of service to Donnelly.
"George's legacy at Donnelly will be infinite," said Vice President of Advancement Emily Buckley. "As an alumnus, he overcame obstacles to create a new future and went on to impact countless lives. As a Donnelly Board member, he worked to make sure Donnelly’s programs excelled to support our current students. As a Donnelly investor, he helped make sure scholarship, operational and endowment resources were in place to secure the present and future of Donnelly’s mission. He was a tireless advocate, and Donnelly will be forever grateful for his friendship, guidance and support."
Breidenthal's visitation will be from 5-7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 29 at Porter Funeral Home, 1835 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, KS. The funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 30 at Trinity Community Church, 5010 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, KS.
To make a contribution in honor of Breidenthal, the family suggests gifts to Trinity Community Church or The Kansas City, KS Foundation for Excellence c/o Board of Education (designation George G. Breidenthal Scholarship), 2010 North 59th Street, Kansas City, KS 66104.