Don and Carol Bremer Receive Alumni Achievement Award
Don and Carol Bremer were the recipients of this year’s Alumni Achievement Award at spring 2009 commencement. Don earned his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State in 1958, majoring in education and industrial arts. Carol graduated from Wayne State in 1954 with her two-year teaching credential. The Bremers have been exemplary educators, administrators and business owners, embodying the spirit that with a Wayne State degree, one can go anywhere and do anything.
Don and Carol Bremer were honored with the Alumni Achievement Award at graduation May 9. Phyllis Conner, vice president for development and executive director of the Wayne State Foundation, far left, and President Richard Collings, far right, presented the award to Don and Carol.
Don Bremer was born in 1934 in Sioux City, Iowa. He moved to Laurel, Neb., and graduated a year later in 1952. He enrolled at Wayne State that fall in the pre-engineering program. Don was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1954 during the Korean War. After training, he married Carol Rankin, his college sweetheart. Don and Carol have been married 54 years. They have three sons and seven grandchildren.
Don returned to Wayne State College in 1956 where he continued his education with majors in education and industrial arts. After graduating in 1958, Don, Carol, and their new son, Doug, moved to Chino, Calif., where Don taught math and drafting while attending Cal Poly University in Pomona working on a major in mathematics. He earned his master of arts degree in secondary school administration from California State University-Los Angeles in 1962.
Don spent 26 years as a school administrator, the last 14 as principal of Chino Boys Republic High School. He is an Elk, a Mason and a Rotarian. He has served all offices in his Rotary Club and several at the district level. Don was named Rotarian of the Year in 2005 and received the “Excellence in Service Award” in 2009. Don and Carol are major donors to the Rotary Foundation.
Carol was born in Neligh, Neb., in 1935. She graduated from Wayne State with a two-year teaching credential in 1954. Her first teaching assignment was at a one-room country school in Antelope County. Her next assignment was teaching fifth and sixth grade in Norfolk, Neb. During Don’s last two years at Wayne State, Carol taught a seventh and eighth grade combination class in Laurel, Neb. Carol earned her bachelor of arts and master of arts in education from the University of California – Los Angeles. She taught junior high school English before serving as the junior high counselor in the Ontario-Montclair School District for about 13 years. She also served two years as assistant principal of Buena Vista High School in Ontario, Calif.
Don left his school administrative position in 1992 after 35 years in the field of education to give more time to their rapidly growing investment business. Carol and Don own and manage D & C Investment Properties, a partnership that runs their 345 apartment units, nine single-family homes and a medical complex that houses 18 doctors. One of the Bremers’ redevelopment projects now serves as a model for the redevelopment of blighted apartment areas.
Don and Carol have been exceptionally charitable to their community. They have also created an endowed scholarship fund at Wayne to provide two student scholarships each year. During the past three years Don and Carol have also served on the Wayne State Foundation Board and have hosted a Wayne State alumni reunion in their home.