Volunteerism Busy Second Career For Mente

Service has long been a part of Glen Mente’s life.  And now, in retirement, he’s enjoying his second career as a “professional volunteer.”

Mente met his wife Mary Jo, through their involvement in 4-H. Together, the two spent a combined 25 years leading 4-H clubs. It could easily be said they raised generations of 4-Hers in addition to their two daughters.

A Iowa High School Basketball Hall of Famer, Mente (’61 animal science, MS ‘63) continued honing his skills playing for Iowa State.  After joining Kent Feeds in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1964 as a swine nutritionist the president had a request.

“He asked me to get rid of my crew-cut so I would appear older and more authoritative,” Mente says. He complied, but quickly re-embraced his signature cut after retiring as senior vice president in 1996.

At Kent Feeds Mente was instrumental in developing an industry leading “flavorizing” process for baby pig feeds, a protected natural protein (PNP) concept in ruminant diets and a patented open Front Pork Production Center.  “We set the industry trend for a ‘grind and mix’ medicated supplement concept for swine feeds.”

Glen says, “moving to Ames after retirement provided so many volunteering opportunities to keep us busy, and, the best part is, we enjoy everything we do.”

Tops on Glen’s list is meeting people and narrating Iowa State University campus bus tours as a volunteer for the alumni association. A homemaker and community volunteer, Mary Jo has been involved extensively with the alumni association, 4-H and Mary Greeley Medical Center.

“Every organization needs a Glen and a Mary Jo.  Committed and thorough volunteers, they offer up their time, talents and treasure gladly and the association and our alumni have benefited greatly from their generosity,” says Jeff Johnson, president and CEO of the ISU Alumni Association.

Glen and Mary Jo are celebrated by the organizations they serve. His honors include the State 4-H Alumni Award, the ISU Alumni Association’s Alumni Medal, Iowa Games Volunteer of the Year, Special Olympics Iowa Outstanding volunteer and the State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award. The couple received the National Service Award from the ISU Alumni Association and was inducted into the Iowa 4-H Foundation Honor Court.

He served as president of the Iowa 4-H Foundation and as a governor of the ISU Foundation. As a past president of the ISU Alumni Association Board of Directors the Mentes served as co-chairs of The Circle, the association’s organization for former leaders. They also are members of the Order of the Knoll Campanile Guild and President’s Circle.

Glen and Mary Jo provided funds to name the Mente Welcome Center and the Mente Conference Room as part of the recent renovation of Curtiss Hall.

“We wanted to be sure prospective students always experience the welcoming environment I felt when I enrolled in the college,” Glen says. “The Mente Welcome Center provides college staff the best environment to begin this relationship.”

Glen’s pace would keep time with any current Iowa State student, whom he encourages to get involved.  His rally cry for them: “Go for it!”