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Center for Leadership and Community Engagement

Don and Verna Duncan

Description: Don and Verna Duncan ImageCentral Washington University alumniDon and Verna Duncan have spent their lives championing education and philanthropy. They have received numerous awards and recognition for their endeavors, including the CWU Distinguished Alumni Award (Don), the 

Phi Delta Kappa Distinguished Service Award (Don), the Monmouth-Independence [Oregon] Elementary Teacher of the 

Year Award (Verna), and the Monmouth-Independence First Citizens Award (both). A study room at Western Oregon University (WOU) and a flute room at CWU are named after them.

The Duncans have had long careers in education. Verna worked as an elementary teacher for 23 years. Don held numerous positions in higher education throughout his career, such as Dean of Men and Students at CWU, Dean of Education and Psychology at WOU and Professor Emeritus of Special Education at WOU. Don also served as a coordinator and district representative for Phi Delta Kappa.

In 1980, the Duncans used a small inheritance to create a scholarship in their parents’ names through the Western Oregon University Foundation. This act sparked an ever-growing devotion to providing financial support for educational endeavors. They have funded support programs for classroom enrichment through the Monmouth-Independence Community Foundation, for Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars through the Rotary Foundation, and scholarships such as the Don and Verna Duncan Community Service Scholarship at CWU. Ever thinking forward, the Duncans have planned for funding of the scholarship and neighborhood obligations to continue well into the future.

In recognition of their efforts, the library at WOU contains a Donald and Verna Duncan Group Study Room.  In 2007, CWU’s Center for Civic Engagement was named in their honor.

During July 2013, the Duncans will celebrate 60 years of marriage along with their two daughters and three grandchildren.