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W. Walter Menninger

W. Walt MenningerWilliam Walter Menninger lives in Topeka. He was born to William C. and Catherine (Wright) Menninger in Topeka. His father was a physician and psychiatrist in practice with his uncle and grandfather, Karl Menninger and C. F Menninger, at the Menninger Clinic.

Menninger received a degree from Stanford University in 1953, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Omega and wrote for the Stanford Journal. He earned a medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, and degrees from the Menninger School of Psychiatry in 1961 and the Topeka Institute for Psychoanalysis in 1978.  He married Constance A. Libbey.  They had six children and eight grandchildren.

Early in his career he was associated with Topeka State Hospital. He was a psychiatrist with the Menninger Foundation from 1964 to 2001, serving as director from 1983 to 1988, chief of staff from 1984 to 1993 and CEO from 1994 to 2001.  He retired in 2001 and became chairman of the Menninger Trustees. He served with the U.S. Public Health Service corps from 1959 to 1964.  He is a past consultant for the US Bureau of Prisons and the Topeka Police Department, and former member of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, the National Institute of Corrections, and the Institute of Medicine.  He has received honorary doctorates from Dominican University, Middlebury College, Washburn University, Ottawa University, and Heidelberg College, and is a former clinical professor with the KU School of Medicine.  He received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Psychiatric Association.

His community service has included work with the Boy Scouts of America, both locally and nationally, First Presbyterian Church, and as an Advisory Board member of the Kansas University Hall Center for the Humanities.

Menninger was first elected to the Kansas Historical Foundation Board of Directors in 1999. He was elected again in 2015.

"It's important to catalogue our experiences, to be shared with and enhance the lives of those who follow."

Entry: Menninger, W. Walter

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: December 2017

Date Modified: December 2021

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.