November 28, 2022
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CLU receives $4.7M scholarship endowment


California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks has received its largest-ever scholarship donation, a $4.7 million estate gift from a Pacific Palisades educator, the university said Feb. 25.

The endowment is funded by John Manken’s bequest and will provide about $240,000 per year in Manken Family Scholarships to students who are seeking teaching credentials or majoring in math, physics or religion. The gift will boost CLU’s scholarship outlays from endowed funds by about 20 percent, the university said. About $23,000 can be distributed in 2014 and the full awards will be available in 2015.

Manken died of a heart attack at the age of 89 on March 27, 2012. He had spent 40 years as an elementary school teacher and principal before retiring in 1993. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree and a doctorate in music from USC, but after a year touring as a concert pianist decided to return to USC and earned a doctorate in educational administration instead. CLU noted that Manken, whose parents owned a plumbing business, had received a scholarship to attend college and wanted to extend the same opportunity to others.

A Lutheran, Manken first connected with CLU when he attended the Scandinavian Festival on campus in 1988 and met the university’s vice president of development. He had never married and had no children or siblings, so decided to establish the scholarships to be funded upon his death by the bulk of his estate.