The Rockhurst High School National Alumni Association has chosen David Knopke, class of 1966, as the institution’s “Alumnus of the Year” for 2012. Knopke will accept the award at the Alumni Senior Luncheon on May 11.
“It’s hard to describe how I felt when Fr. Baum called to tell me about this honor,” said Knopke. “I was speechless, and not a little overwhelmed by emotion. There is no place in the world that compares to Rockhurst High School. To think the school would turn around and give me such a tribute; well, it’s just amazing!”
Knopke is the executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope in Kansas City, which is part of a national network of organizations for children-in-need providing value-centered, family-like homes, opportunities and education. Many of the young men Knopke has cared for in the Boys Hope Girls Hope program have attended Rockhurst High School. He has been a Class Captain at Rockhurst High School since his graduation and was Chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees in the early 2000’s.
The Knopke name is one of the most familiar to the Kansas City Catholic and philanthropic communities. David and his wife, Jan, have been a part of the Snow Ball leadership for more than a decade, one of the top fund-raising initiatives in the Kansas City area that benefits Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. They have also been instrumental in the growth of Notre Dame de Sion, an independent Catholic school in Kansas City for children in grades preschool through 12th grade. Knopke was the business manager of St. Agnes parish in Roeland Park, KS, before joining Boys Hope Girls Hope, and an executive vice president for Knopke Brothers Contractors Supply before it was sold to Hertz in the 1990’s. He is still a managing member for The Knopke Company, LLC, which was established by Knopke’s son, Matthew ’88.
Both of Knopke’s brothers, Richard ’63 and Don ’72, are alumni and he currently has a grandson enrolled at Rockhurst High School.