MU opened world for Tribolet

For Jean Ann Tribolet ’56, a ribbon of Highway 114 connects her home in Roanoke, Ind., to her heart at Manchester.   

“At Manchester,” says the retired registrar, “I got my moorings, which have been with me my entire life.” Her time as a student helped clarify her values. Lifelong friendships were forged. 

In gratitude for what Manchester has meant to her, Tribolet established an endowed scholarship named for her parents, Claude and Gladys Tribolet. The award goes to worthy MU students who are the first in their immediate families to go to college.

No one in Jean Ann’s family had gone to college when she graduated from high school in 1952. A brief stint working for a bank, made her “miserable,” she recalls, so she accepted a $115 scholarship from Manchester. It was a sizeable sum for the farm girl and, at the time, about a third of a year’s tuition.

Manchester changed Tribolet’s life. She lived with nine other women in the Oakwood Annex, a house across the street from the residence hall on College Avenue. One of her housemates, Jean Hamman ’56 Johnston, became a lifelong friend as did two other classmates, Anita Garman ’56 Dunlavy and Marilyn Ballard ’56x Shinall.

In the classroom, Manchester faculty opened new worlds. After her first course with English Professor Orrel Little, “I took everything she taught,” says Tribolet. Gladdys Muir, founder of the world’s first peace studies program at Manchester, made a strong impression, too. Muir took “a Renaissance approach” to teaching by connecting world history with the arts. Tribolet still reads history for pleasure, a remnant of Muir’s lasting influence. 
Tribolet enjoyed a rewarding and varied career in education as a high school teacher, guidance counselor and dean of girls. She has taught or counseled every level from first-graders to graduate students. Along the way, she earned her master’s in personnel and guidance at the University of Colorado and her Ph.D. in guidance and counseling psychology at Purdue University.

She served Manchester as dean of women from 1970-72 before a 14-year tenure as director of guidance at Columbia City High School. “I left my heart here,” she says. She came back “home” in 1986 as Manchester’s registrar, her final professional stop before retiring in 1996. “You’re going back to your people, aren’t you?” she recalls her father saying. “Yes,” Jean Ann told him. “I’m going back to my people.” 

Through the years, she says, Manchester’s people have remained welcoming, kind and principled. “People are the soul of Manchester.”

And since Tribolet blazed a trail to Manchester, others in her family have followed: her younger sister, two nieces, one nephew, a great-niece and, soon, three great-nephews
It all started with that $115 scholarship, Tribolet adds with a smile. Turns out, it was a pretty good investment for everyone.  

By Melinda Lantz ’81