HOMETOWN HERO: Don Vitale

By: Kristin Martin
By: Kristin Martin

"The students that receive scholarship from his donations to philanthropy -- he gets to know them and is interested in them and becomes a mentor to them as well," Katz said.
 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- A Bowling Green man, Don Vitale, has contributed a lot to Western Kentucky University's College of Business and the students there -- making a big impact on the future of both.

"One of the things about Mr. Vitale that so impressed me when we first met is he said that he divides his time one-third, one-third, one third. That is one-third toward his business, one-third toward mentoring and one-third toward philanthropy to make the community better, and that just really impressed me about what he's all about," said Dr. Jeff Katz, the dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business.

Vitale is a graduate of Saint Louis University, where he earned two business degrees.

However, he eventually moved to Bowling Green, where he's started multiple businesses and is now the president of Manchester Capital.

"It's a private equity business. So we invest in other folks who are starting companies or who need capital to grow their businesses. I'm very interested in young entrepreneurs and assisting them and participating with them in becoming successful," Vitale said.

While he didn't attend WKU, he's contributed a lot to it.

"Mr. Vitale has been very much involved with WKU and the Gordon Ford College for a number of years. This ends my third year as dean and immediately upon my arrival he provided excellent guidance and agreed to serve on the executive advisory council and has been very involved with mentoring our students through internships and scholarships," Katz said.

He's also helped lead efforts that have raised more than 200 million dollars through a capital campaign.

"Many fine buildings and scholarships and endowed professors are reflective of the success that we all had in connection with that capital campaign. So I'm very delighted to help President Ransdell and be part of the extended WKU family," Vitale said.

He also contributes to the growth of students on a personal level.

"The students that receive scholarship from his donations to philanthropy -- he gets to know them and is interested in them and becomes a mentor to them as well," Katz said.

For not only being a successful role model in our society, but for sharing that success in a way the helps others, we honor Don Vitale as this week's Hometown Hero.


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