Donald J. Taft Memorial Scholarship

Donald J. Taft Memorial Scholarship

Donald Taft, who was born in Indiana, spent most of his early days in southern Michigan, south of Quincy. Upon high school completion, he tried out for a minor league baseball team but quickly realized that this would be a difficult life choice.

Mr. Taft persuaded his farming parents to enroll him in Argubright Business College in Battle Creek from 1935-1936, but was interrupted by the Great Depression. After working several years as a part time accountant and meat cutter during the war years, Mr. Taft took the plunge into business in the late 1940’s. After a short stint owning a bar downtown, he purchased a local grocery store, known then as the Battle Creek Beer Store, which serviced the remaining troops stationed at Camp Fort Custer.

He became affectionately known to the local residents of his grocery store as “Mr. Don” and eventually changed the name of the grocery store to “Mr. Don’s Superette,” which he operated into the late 1960’s.

Taft envisioned that small neighborhood grocery stores would eventually be the fodder for the larger supermarket. He had been interested in the fast food industry, and opened his own version, continuing with the name Mr. Don’s.


While mostly a learner by operating in business, Taft enjoyed the enrichment program at KCC in the 1960’s. He took many of the classes and enjoyed learning of new business methods. His wife created this scholarship in his memory in 1985.