Donor Stories

Maj. Gen. John V. Cox (’52) and Mrs. Patricia (McMichael) Cox Honored with 2022 President’s Leadership Award

One of the most prestigious awards bestowed by Truman State University, the President’s Leadership Award honors select Truman alumni and friends for meritorious service through their gifts of volunteerism, expertise, and financial resources. The University is proud to present this distinguished award to two individuals who have made significant contributions to Truman, Maj. Gen. John V. Cox, USMCR, and Mrs. Patricia A. Cox.

Maj. Gen. John V. Cox (’52) and Mrs. Patricia (McMichael) Cox have long supported Truman State University. In 2021, they combined their philanthropic interests to establish the Cox McMichael Scholarship for First Americans, a full-tuition, room-and-board scholarship for Truman students with Native American ancestry. The name is in reference to the words of Harry S. Truman who, during his presidency, used the term “First Americans.”

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KPMG Honored with 2022 Distinguished Corporation/Foundation Award

The Distinguished Corporation/Foundation Award recognizes corporations, foundations, and organizations for exemplary support to Truman State University and its students. The University is proud to present this year’s Distinguished Corporation/ Foundation Award to KPMG.

The KPMG International Limited is a British-Dutch multinational professional services network and considered one of the “Big Four” accounting organizations. KPMG has a network of firms in 145 countries, with nearly 240,000 employees and three lines of services: financial audit, tax, and advisory services

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Building a Legacy for the Future

RoElsie and Ron Gabern and Elsie Gaber have been longtime loyal supporters of their alma mater. With Ron (’82) serving as Director of Residence Life/Housing from 1976 to 1988 and Elsie (’87) working as an academic planning counselor from 1980 to 1996, it seemed natural to give back to the institution that had been a part of their lives for so long. Through their generosity in giving, the Gabers have affected the lives of students in many ways.

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Past, Present and Future: One Couple’s Journey

Faye and TerryAfter alumni Terry and Faye (Attaway) Whitworth graduated from Truman, they embarked on a journey that took them to Utah to earn their post graduate degrees and ultimately to Washington to pursue their careers. Terry and Faye started their support many years ago with annual gifts to their respective departments. Two years ago, they decided to help students now and increase this support in the future through a legacy gift. Through their contributions, the Whitworths established two scholarships for undergraduate students; one for a student majoring in biology and the other for a pre-MAE student in social and cultural studies

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Alumni Couple Establish Scholarship for PT Students

Drew and KatherineDrew and Katherine (Felke) Giardina recently created the Total Sports Therapy Graduate Studies Scholarship through a $25,000 gift on behalf of Total Sports Therapy. “The professional and academic foundation created at Truman was integral in my success as a graduate student and then later as a professional in the field of physical therapy,” Drew said. “Katherine and I wanted to return the favor to the University, as well as help current students reach their goals.”

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President’s Leadership Award: Betty Jo White, DO (’59)

Dr. Betty Jo WhiteDr. Betty Jo White is the recipient of the President’s Leadership Award, the highest honor bestowed by Truman State University.

Growing up in the Ozarks of mid-Missouri, Betty Jo White knew even as a young student that she wanted to become a doctor. When her family physician learned of her passion for medicine, he made a phone call to Truman State University and helped set her career into motion.

Dr. White fondly recalls her time at Truman and especially her advisor, Dr. John D. Black. He was a professor of zoology, credited as being the first pre-osteopathic advisor in the country. To this day, the “Dr. John D. Black Day Lily” grows in her yard, and she and fellow classmates from Truman exchange photos of its blooms each year.
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Recurring Gifts Lead to Exponential Support

Jenna and PhilRegular, smaller gifts have a way of making a significant difference.

This has certainly been the case for Phil and Jenn (Bender) Christofferson. The opportunity to make recurring donations has opened the door to make the impact they desire through the ease of automation. For the past 20 years, the Christoffersons have been making gifts to the Kyle Cope Memorial Scholarship, and for the past decade, those contributions have come through scheduled quarterly gifts.
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SUB Plaza to Get New Look and Fountain

Fountain projectThis summer the plaza area directly to the east of the Student Union Building is getting a major renovation. The space is being funded through a seven-figure, naming-level gift along with funds generated through the Sesquicentennial Plaza campaign and the 2019-20 Truman Parent Council fundraising project. The area will be named the Sandra K. Giachino Reavey Sesquicentennial Plaza, in honor of Reavey, who was a Kirksville native and 1962 graduate of Truman.
Read about the Sandra K. Giachino Reavey Sesquicentennial Plaza > 

Couple Shows Gratitude with Gifts

WhitworthsAlumni Terry and Faye (Attaway) Whitworth both credit the education they received at Truman for preparing them to have successful careers, and they have returned the favor with a sizeable donation to establish two new scholarships. One will go to a student majoring biology, the other to a pre-MAE student in social and cultural studies.
Read Terry and Faye’s story >

Range Scholarship Honors Former Baseball Player

Andrew RangeA native of Troy, Ill., Andrew “Ranger” Range graduated from Truman in 2016. He was a member of the Bulldog baseball team and part of the squad that played in the 2015 Division II College World Series. Range was a law student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale when he passed away in December 2017 due to a medical issue.
Read about the Andrew Range Baseball Scholarship >

Donors’ Gifts Enhance Campus

Spike, Truman's mascot and a bronze statue of a Bulldog on the Truman campusThrough generous gifts from alumni and friends, donated specifically for a bulldog sculpture, the piece was commissioned with Crandall Sculpture and Design. In another part of campus, with the support of many Truman parents, a two-year fundraising project was completed in the summer. Red Barn Park is now home to a new pavilion.
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