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A lasting legacy

Posted 1:32 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Darryle and Marv Clott served as Mrs. and Mr. Oktoberfest in 2019.

For Clotts, giving back is about education, family

Darryle and Marv Clott had transformational college experiences they carry with them decades later. 

Now, they are paying it forward so future generations can have the same opportunity. 

The Clotts are donating a significant six-figure sum to UW-La Crosse — an estate gift paired with $15,000 annual contributions supporting scholarships for UWL education students from La Crescent High School. 

Darryle, ’66 (history and English), taught English in La Crescent for many years and now teaches history and Holocaust education at Viterbo University. She received UWL’s Graff Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008 and has maintained close ties with the university. 

"I have loved this campus since I first set foot on it in the autumn of 1962 as a very scared freshman from Amery, Wisconsin," Darryle says. “I was given a great foundation for life and my career at UWL. The rigor, discipline and structure of my double majors prepared me well for what I consider to be the most rewarding profession and very best job on the face of the earth: teaching.” 

Marv, who attended the U.S. Naval Academy as part of the class of 1973, had a similarly positive college experience. He credits his time at the Academy for laying the foundation for his successful sales career. 

The couple met in 1992 on a flight from Minneapolis to La Crosse. Darryle was returning from watching the time-honored Army-Navy football game (her son, Hans, was attending West Point). Marv, who lived in Maryland at the time, was on his way to a work training in La Crosse. 

The strangers bonded over their shared interest in the game and were married four years later. 

Through the years, the couple made a good living in their respective careers. But it was their shared, secondary career managing rental properties that allowed them to give back. The couple is also making sizable gifts to Viterbo and the Naval Academy. 

“We’ve been very fortunate,” Marv says. “We realize everyone’s situation is different.” 

Using their money to help others was an easy choice, Darryle says, citing the couple’s favorite Bible verse, Luke 12:48. “To whom much is given, much will be required.” 

The only challenge, Darryle says, was deciding whom to help. 

“When we met with UWL, Marv already knew what he wanted to do (as a donation), but I didn’t have a clue,” she says. “In November, I was fortunate enough to be inducted into the La Crescent Education Foundation Wall of Excellence. In researching while writing my speech, I noticed that a lot of people had made a donation for scholarships. And I knew right away that was it.” 

Their children were another source of inspiration. 

Their daughter, Aimee, holds a PhD in educational leadership from the University of Oregon and teaches middle school social studies in Aurora, Oregon. 

Their son, Hans, died from pancreatic cancer in 2021, at age 48. A successful business executive, Hans was passionate about philanthropy and often found ways to give back. 

“We’re in our 70s, and he’s in his 40s, and we see all the things he’s doing for others,” Darryle says. “That had a huge impact on us.” 

Darryle and Marv have three pieces of advice for those considering making a gift: 

  • Find a cause with personal significance. 
  • Make a difference while you’re around to appreciate the impact. 
  • And as they learned from close friend and former UWL Chancellor Judith Kuipers, don’t be afraid to put your name on your gift, so others can follow your example. 
The Clott family. From left to right: Hans, Aimee, Darryle and Marv.


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