Barry B. Donnell Receives Knight Commander’s Accolade
Knight Commander William E. Dreyer (Alpha Delta – William Jewell) conferred on Barry B. Donnell (Beta Lambda – Southern Methodist ’68) the Knight Commander’s Accolade, the highest individual honor an alumnus can receive, on Saturday, August 1, 2015 during the third Convention Session of the 76th Convention at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia.
Barry B. Donnell has been a life-long resident of Wichita Falls, Texas. He enrolled at Southern Methodist University in 1957 and joined the Beta Lambda chapter in 1958. Upon graduating in 1961, Barry served on the board of Town & Country Homes, a publicly traded company that was founded by his father and eventually listed on the American Stock Exchange.
In 1984, Barry founded Cavalier Homes, Inc., which produced and sold manufactured housing. Cavalier Homes ended up on the New York Stock Exchange and, eventually, merged with Southern Energy Homes, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a Warren Buffett company. Barry retired in 2009.
Barry became a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Educational Foundation (KAOEF) Board of Trustees in 2006 and has been serving as the chairman since 2012. Barry has served on numerous boards including the First Presbyterian Church, First-Wichita National Bank, and Austin College in Sherman, Texas to name a few.
While a great deal has been accomplished while Barry has served on the KAOEF board, his most recent efforts were to lead the KAOEF through the Sesquicentennial Campaign in recognition of Kappa Alpha Order’s 150th anniversary. This campaign raised the most money, in the shortest period of time, in the history of the KAOEF. The campaign began in September of 2013 and concluded in April of 2015 and raised over $900,000 from one hundred and sixty-six donors, surpassing the original goal of $775,000.
Barry’s generosity to KA has extended beyond this recent campaign. He has been extremely supportive of his own chapter at Southern Methodist University where he established the Beta Lambda Chapter Endowment Fund for undergraduates. He has consistently supported the annual Bid for Brotherhood auction and the KA Leadership Fund.
Barry has led the Board of Trustees not only with his generous support but by motivating the other trustees to give generously as well. He has encouraged more active participation by the board, and has led through example by hosting various alumni events at his club, in his home and at other locations to encourage support for the foundation.
Barry is married to Johnelle Donnell, and they live in Wichita Falls, Texas. Barry has two daughters, Tennyson Logan and Paige Donnell, and a son, Dustin Donnell, who is also a KA from Beta Lambda chapter.