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Newman Catholic Schools Fosters Disciples of Christ Through Catholic Faith, Service and Academics

Jerry Duginske - Class of 1960

Jerry Duginske - Class of 1960

Jerry Duginske, Newman High School Class of 1960, was born on Lincoln’s birthday to a farm family in the town of Weston. One of eight children, the importance of hard work and a strong education was instilled in him from an early age. Jerry attended a rural, one-room brick school house through 6th grade before moving to St. Therese for 7th and 8th grade. At St. Therese, Jerry first met his wife, Karen, which was the beginning of their long, happy life together. Karen is the daughter of James and Emily Murkowski of Rothschild. She attended high school and college at Divine Savior in Milwaukee.

Receiving a quality education was very important to Jerry’s parents, choosing to send six of their eight children on to Newman High School. Jerry is eternally grateful for this decision for he credits success in life to the educational foundation he received at Newman. Besides receiving a strong education, he built lasting relationships, especially on the football field. As he states, “the best thing that happened to him was finding football.” Being on the team taught him discipline, leadership and a desire to succeed, and without it, college would not have been possible. Coach Mike McMahon believed so strongly in a group of four football players, Jerry included, that he helped them develop their skills and worked with his contacts to help these players earn full football scholarships. Coach McMahon’s dedication to his players ensured Jerry could move on to receive his college degree.

Jerry completed his undergraduate work in Economics at Northern Michigan University. After completing his undergraduate, Jerry began his 16 year career with Chrysler. A period in which he was promoted seven times, three of which to executive positions. Jerry received his Masters of Business Administration from Central Michigan University in the Detroit area and then attended the University of Detroit to work on his Masters in Economics. While at the University of Detroit, he taught at the Chrysler institute. Upon leaving Chrysler, Jerry became a Purchasing and Materials Manager with General Electric in New Jersey.

Jerry is quick to share that he would not have found success in life were it not for the education and opportunities available to him at Newman High School. To ensure future generations are afforded the same opportunities, Jerry has been an annual supporter of the Newman Cardinal Fund for 25 years and is a member of the Cardinal Club. He began donating to the system in honor of his parents and his late brother, Dr. Denis Duginske, who received his Doctorate from the University of Chicago. He continues to support annually to help students build a strong foundation for a successful future.

Newman Catholic Schools is blessed to have Jerry and Karen Duginske’s support and for their continued belief in Catholic education.