Donor Stories

  • Truman Names First Charles J. McClain Pershing Scholar

    Charles J. McClain Pershing ScholarThe vision of the late Charles McClain, who served as president of Truman State University from from 1970 to 1989, has played a major role in shaping the University we know today. He strove to ensure Truman would support the intellectual and personal development of talented young men and women. To help achieve this goal, he created the General John J. Pershing Scholarship in 1974. Thanks to donors like Jeff and Deanna Burns, the endowment is now able to support one Pershing Scholar who will receive the distinction of being named the Charles J. McClain Pershing Scholar.

    The first annual Charles J. McClain Pershing Scholar was announced at the annual Pershing Reception on campus. Judge Ann Covington, widow of Dr. McClain, presented the award to Jacob Fallman, a senior from Oak Grove, Mo.
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  • $25,000 Challenge Gift will help Truman Celebrate Sesquicentennial Year

    Truman Celebrates 150 YearsThe University, founded by Joseph Baldwin in 1867, will be celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. The 150 year milestone also provides an opportunity for alumni and friends to provide financial support to help support the next 150 years and beyond.

    To enhance the celebration activities, Mike (’85) and Janet (’84) McClaskey of Castle Pines, Co., have designated $25,000 from their overall cash commitment of $100,000 to be used as a challenge gift for the sesquicentennial year. Mike, who is currently serving as the president of the Foundation Board of Directors, knows the importance private support will play in Truman’s future. He and Janet hope their challenge gift will encourage alumni and friends to join the pursuit.
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  • $90,000 Commitment Creates Excellence Fund for the School of Business

    Jennifer AustinIn January 2017, Jennifer (’92, ’93) and Denis Austin made a $90,000 pledge in support of Truman State University’s School of Business. Jennifer, who received a bachelor and Master’s degree from Truman, is a partner at KPMG. She is working with colleagues to create a KPMG Excellence Fund. This new fund will provide multipurpose funding to strengthen Truman’s accounting program.
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  • Legacy Gift is a Big Win for Athletics

    Paul GarnettPersonal setback struck Paul Garnett (’73) when the would-be starting point guard for the Bulldogs blew out his knee at the beginning of the ’70-’71 basketball season. Unfortunately for the two-sport athlete, a string of injuries would keep him off of the court, as well as the baseball field, for much of his college career. However, through a generous provision in their will, Paul and his wife, Alicia (’74), are ensuring that Truman’s rich athletic heritage will thrive.
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  • A Life-Altering Gift

    Ken Rickli and Tiffany Shearer

    Tiffany Shearer’s entire future, not to mention her ambition of attending college, was suddenly in peril when her mother abandoned her in 2012 at the start of her senior year at Affton High School.

    “She said she was leaving to go on a three-week business trip and never returned home. The fact that my father has never been a part of my life, and my grandma had recently passed away, I really didn’t have any family or financial support,” Shearer said. Getting through her senior year was physically, mentally and emotionally draining.
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  • Donors Give Back with Pitch Competition

    Bulldog BITE ContestAn elevator pitch outlines the concept or idea for a product, service or project in a short period of time, typically from 30 seconds to three minutes. The length of the pitch mirrors the time spent waiting for and riding an elevator in a high-rise building. The purpose of the pitch is to spur the interest of a potential investor or financial backer.

    Bulldog B.I.T.E., which stands for Business Innovation by Truman Entrepreneurs, allowed participants to pitch a for-profit or not-for-profit concept. Judges selected six teams to attend the live pitch competition in March in St. Louis to present their product to an alumni panel. Contestants were judged based on the problem, product/service solution, market, competition, value creation, seed money, a Q&A session and the presentation of the project.
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  • Gift Forges International Relationships

    Chi Candice CheungWith the goal of facilitating increased cultural exchange between his native country and the United States, Chi Cheung and his wife Candice are providing an annual gift of $10,000 to the Foundation to support interns from Truman.
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  • Former Faculty Member Establishes Scholarship to Help Business Students

    School of Business StudentsPyung and Sue Han of Mountain View, Calif., made a contribution of $25,000 to establish the Dr. and Mrs. Pyung E. Han Scholarship.

    Designed to support high-achieving business administration students with financial need, the Han’s hope this scholarship will allow exceptional students the opportunity to attend Truman and develop extraordinary leadership skills. The scholarship will be available for upper-class business administration students who are already active in community and/or extracurricular activities and have demonstrated leadership.
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  • Gift Supports Unique Internship

    Arnold ZuckermanThe Dr. Arnold Zuckerman Digital History Internship of Sustainability at Truman was created through a $15,000 gift from Zuckerman’s stepdaughter, Judi G. Schweitzer of Lake Forest, Calif. The fund provides an annual internship experience for a history student who also possesses an interest in honing his or her website design skills. Students selected for the internship work with Truman’s Sustainability Committee to develop an ongoing digital history of sustainability at the University.
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