Charles Frederick Menninger (1862-1952) and Florence Vesta Kinsley Menninger (1863-1945) were the parents of Karl, William and Edwin. With their father, Karl and William founded the internationally famous Menninger Clinic and Menninger Foundation in Topeka.
Karl (1893-1990) attended Washburn for two years and graduated from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., in 1917. He returned to Topeka and began practicing medicine with his father. He was instrumental in establishing the Winter VA Hospital in Topeka, now the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center, and the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry. He received many major awards, including the Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, from President Jimmy Carter.
William (1899-1966), ba 1919, graduated from Cornell University College of Medicine, New York, N.Y., in 1924 and then studied psychiatry at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. In 1927, he returned to Topeka and joined his father and brother, Karl, in their medical practice. He was featured on the cover of the Oct. 25, 1948, TIME magazine. William had three sons who continued the family legacy: Roy, Philip and Walt. Roy and Walt became staff psychiatrists, while Philip, bba 1956, served as an administrator. Roy also attended Washburn.
Edwin (1896-1995), ba 1916, studied journalism at Washburn and also graduated from the Columbia University Pulitzer School of Journalism, New York, N.Y. In 1922, he bought a newspaper in Florida and devoted his energies to horticulture, particularly flowering trees. He served on the board of the Menninger Foundation.
Many family members have attended or graduated from Washburn, including Ann Menninger Johnson, ba 1980; Ann Maureen Menninger Cain, bs 1985; Beverly Miller Menninger, ba 1974; Frederick P. Menninger, bs 1994; Karl A. Menninger II, jd 1975; Rosemary Jeanetta Menninger, ba 1984 and bfa 1985; and Mary Lynn Menninger-Corder, bsn 1979. Mary Lynn is an assistant professor in the Washburn University School of Nursing.
Through the years, Washburn was supported by and benefitted from the contributions of members of the Menninger family. Charles taught physiologic and pathologic chemistry and dietetics at the Kansas Medical College, then a part of Washburn College. Karl taught at Washburn and developed some of the first courses in the nation in abnormal psychology, criminology and mental hygiene. Roy and Walt served many years as adjunct faculty members.
Washburn presented both Karl and William with Alumni Distinguished Service Awards in 1954 and conferred both with an honorary doctor of science in 1949. Edwin received a Washburn Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1956 and was conferred with an honorary doctor of science in 1981. Washburn conferred an honorary doctor of science on Walt in 1982. Karl received the Washburn University School of Law Alumni Honorary Life Membership Award in 1964.
* Pictures of Charles and Florence (top left), Philip (just above, left), Roy (bellow right) and Walt (bellow left) provided by the Kansas Historical Society.