Last week, UW-Superior lost one of its great leaders and champions, Gayle Manion. During his tenure of nearly thirty years, Dr. Manion served as Chairman of the Communicating Arts Department, the Dean of Fine Arts and as the founder of the UWS continuing education and extension programs, for which he also served as Dean. An amazing career by any standard.
But what Gayle Manion did is immensely more important than even these impressive roles. He was a mentor and father figure to the folks who came after him in every area in which he served.
Virginia Katz, Al Katz, John D. Munsell, Paul Kending, Gayle & Louise Manion.
In the Communicating Arts Department – John Munsell, Al Katz, Bill Stock, Paul Kending, Steward Platner – were lucky enough to see this leadership first hand and learn from it. They were better teachers, problem-solvers, administrators, artists and friends because they had an example of the best in Gayle Manion. This was true not only during his career, but continuing to this day and beyond.
By his influence on all those that he worked with, Gayle had a tremendously positive impact on every student who passed through the Communicating Arts Department. Those of us who were lucky enough to be a part of that will be forever grateful.
Gayle and Louise Manion recently attended a performance of “Dog Sees God” at the UWS Theater that bears his name. He remained a life-long supporter of Communicating Arts and Theater in particular. When we started the John D. Munsell Legacy Fund/Twin Ports Stage, Gayle and Louise were among our first supporters. As our company goes forward, we will honor Gayle for all that he gave – to us as students, to the teachers who changed our lives and to the very special theater home that we all love.