Mengs reach out to commuter students and working adults

Jack Meng and his wife, EngridOne reason that we support UW-Green Bay is because of its high proportion of commuter students and returning adults. I think for someone in the workforce to see the value of going back to school for a college degree…that’s very important and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to support their efforts.

“Higher education is a huge strategic investment in the community. All too often we do things for immediate return, which isn’t the best approach.

“Communities are rated by their level of education…. Notice that when the average education level is quite high, problems get solved in those communities and get solved with creative solutions.

“Selfishly, from the standpoint of Schreiber Foods, we’ve had personal success with UW-Green Bay graduates — they do a wonderful job. I also think that the current administration, particularly, has done a good job of reaching out to the community and supporting its needs.”

Jack Meng and his wife, Engrid, have adopted UW-Green Bay as their unofficial alma mater. They established a named scholarship in 1990 to assist local students showing potential, like Darin Allen of Manitowoc, below.

Darin AllenDarin Allen
Recipient: From courts to courtroom, forever grateful

As a former Phoenix tennis player, Darin Allen was practiced in setting up his opponent with a strong serve, then rushing the net in anticipation of his rival’s return. Now, as a Minneapolis-based attorney, Allen still practices a strategic approach.

A former courtroom litigator in business, employment and real estate cases, he was inspired to be proactive in resolving problems and shifted his focus to mediation and arbitration.

Allen directs the real estate and employment services sectors for the National Arbitration Forum in Minneapolis. He travels across the nation consulting with Fortune 500 companies, associations, and trade groups about practical alternatives to traditional litigation.

“I loved being in the courtroom,” he says, “but I enjoy my work now because I get to help companies and individuals devise truly effective planning and dispute-resolution programs.”

Allen says his immersion in a range of student activities while in college, including two terms as president of the Student Government Association, helped prepare him for his current work. He is also sold on lifelong learning, pursuing a doctorate in leadership and policy analysis at UW-Madison.

While attending UW-Green Bay, he had three brothers back home in Manitowoc headed to college, so he funded his own tuition and living expenses. As one of many recipients of Jack and Engrid Meng Scholarships over the years, Allen says he will be forever grateful.

The Meng Scholarship, he says, afforded him time to invest in student activities and realize “that learning really does take place inside and outside of the classroom.”

“I have always appreciated the generosity of the Mengs,” he adds. “I hope to follow their example and I look forward to the day when I can create another scholarship for a deserving student.”

Kimberly Vlies

Kimberly began working with web and graphic design in 2004 and joined the Office of Marketing and University Communication (M/UC) in October 2007.