Donley Family to be Featured on UW-WC Billboard

Couple Met on Blind Date while Attending UW-WC

John and Debby Donley and their daughter Lisa (Jelinek) are this month’s featured family.  

UW-WC has special meaning for John and Debby Donley as it’s where they first met. A blind double date set up by John’s friend was the beginning of their courtship and eventual marriage. After completing two years, both transferred to UW-Milwaukee, where John earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Debby completed a master’s degree in social work.

Both chose UW-WC because it was “very affordable at the time.” John notes that he “could earn enough from a part-time job to cover tuition and book fees. Without those affordable years at UW-WC, I may not have attended college or completed a degree.” Debby also appreciated the savings on tuition costs. She said, “going to UW-WC allowed me to live at home and continue working at the part-time job I had.”  As Debby wasn’t sure of what career she wanted after graduating from Kewaskum High School, UW-WC “gave me time to make a choice and then transfer to a campus that specialized in the career choice I decided to pursue.” Debby also notes that “knowing that my credits would transfer, allowed me to earn many of the general credits needed toward any degree I would be pursuing.”

Their daughter Lisa followed in her parents’ footsteps, also getting her start at UW-WC. After attending the West Bend campus, she transferred to UW-Oshkosh, where she completed a bachelor’s of science degree in education in 2002 followed by a master’s degree in education: curriculum and instruction in 2005. Today, she works as a second grade teacher for the Oshkosh area school district.

Lisa appreciated the small class sizes and the fact that “faculty was easily accessible to answer any questions that I had.” She said, “UW-WC was a great school at which to ease the transition from high school to a four-year college.”  Like her parents, Lisa worked while attending college and notes that “attending UW-WC gave me the flexibility to schedule classes that worked for me, matching my interests and needs, while allowing me to maintain a part-time job.”  Lisa also stated, “Lower tuition and the ability to live at home before transferring to a four-year campus allowed me to save money and made good financial sense. Many friends from the community also attended UW-WC, which also helped the transition from high school.” Lisa is married to Jeremy and they have two children, ages 6 and 4.

If you visit the West Bend Memorial Library, it’s likely you’ve met Debby. As a Circulation Desk Assistant for the past 23 years, you can always count on a wide smile and a friendly, helpful attitude. In addition to that job, she also works as a Library Paraprofessional for the West Bend School District.  Husband, John is a customer service representative for Rexnord - a job he’s held for the past 37 years. 

In their spare time, John and Debby “love spending time with our two grandchildren!” John also volunteers for Interfaith Caregivers and enjoys fishing, wood working and biking. Debby was a core member of PIE (Partners in Education) for nine years and enjoys READING (not too surprising!), sewing and crafts. Lisa also volunteers at church and school (when time permits) and enjoys reading  and exercising.

Washington County is located at 400 University Drive in West Bend. For admission information, visit the campus website at or phone Student Affairs at 262-335-5201.


Sue Bausch