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Summer 2011, Vol. 14, No. 3
Foundation News


Bright Minds Bright Futures Campaign Tops $30 Million Goal

  Bright Minds Bright Futures Campaign Results

As announced by President Troy D. Paino at the Commencement ceremonies on May 7, Truman State University has surpassed its $30 million goal in its “Bright Minds Bright Futures” fundraising campaign.

The five-year effort, Truman’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, which began on July 1, 2006, and concluded on June 30, 2011, featured several major initiatives, including student scholarships, student enrichment and academic programs, faculty support, athletics and mission enhancement.

More than $30.5 million was generated in cash, multi-year pledges, and new planned gift commitments made toward the campaign. Nearly $13.7 million was raised for student scholarships, a centerpiece of the campaign. In addition, $8.25 million was raised for student enrichment and academic programs, impacting areas such as study abroad, library enhancements, lectureships, student undergraduate research, programs to benefit the schools and departments, cultural programs, and internships.

 “I am deeply grateful to the thousands of alumni and friends who responded so generously to our call for support,” said President Troy D. Paino. “More than 18,000 gifts were received, including more than 12,000 from alumni, to the campaign over the past five years.”  

“It was essential for Truman to meet the goal during its inaugural comprehensive campaign,” continued President Paino. “We have established a solid base for future campaign efforts as private gift support will increasingly be an important component of securing Truman’s vitality in the years ahead.” 

Chuck Foudree, a 1966 Truman alumnus and retired vice president and chief financial officer for Harmon Industries in Kansas City, Mo., served as campaign chair and led a corps of more than 100 volunteers. “The devotion and impact of our volunteers on the “Bright Minds Bright Futures” campaign is inestimable,” said Foudree.  

Bequest from M. Alice White Establishes Major Scholarship Program

  Majorie Alice White
  Marjorie Alice

Truman State University will receive a bequest in excess of $500,000 from the estate of the late Marjorie Alice White of Monroe City, Mo.

The substantial gift will create the Samuel A. Jeffries and Alice White Scholarship fund at Truman and become one of the largest scholarship programs established through the University’s Foundation.  

Recipients of the scholarship will demonstrate and maintain a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and produce evidence of good citizenship, participation in extra-curricular activities and leadership.

Scholarship awards will be equivalent to one-half of the cost of tuition, room and board for Missouri students at Truman, or approximately $7,000. The awards will be renewable for a period of four years, provided that academic and citizenship standards are maintained. When fully endowed, the fund will support scholarships for at least three Missouri students attending Truman annually.

 “We are very grateful to Alice White for her foresight and generosity in establishing this significant scholarship program at Truman,” said University President Troy D. Paino. “Generations of Missouri students will receive the gift of a Truman education as a result of this bequest. Alice was an educator and advocate of lifelong learning, and her legacy will continue through this scholarship program.”

Born in Lewis County Mo., Alice White was educated in country schools and graduated from Durham High School. She attended the University from 1939 to 1941, and began teaching in one-room rural schools in northeast Missouri.

Following a teaching stint in Zephyrhills, Fla., White returned to Missouri and completed her teaching career at Louisiana, Mo. She moved to Monroe City in retirement and enjoyed hunting, fishing and collecting antiques. She was remembered as a strict but fair teacher who earned the respect of her students and greatly influenced the lives of many schoolchildren.

The scholarship is also named for Samuel Jeffries, the son of Samuel and Adele Jeffries, lifelong friends of White, who was tragically killed in a bicycle accident many years ago.

Alumni Couple Invests $100,000 in Truman's School of Business

  Larry and Janet Rigdon 
  Larry (’70) and Janet (Thompson) Rigdon (’71) visited the Truman campus this spring when Larry served as the Commencement speaker for Truman’s graduation ceremonies on May 7, 2011.

Truman’s School of Business has received a $100,000 gift from Larry and Janet (Thompson) Rigdon to help perpetrate the school’s tradition of producing high-quality graduates for business careers. Designed to ensure that the School of Business remains competitive and relevant, the Larry and Janet Rigdon Business Excellence Fund will provide multiple-purpose support to enhance resources for student scholarships, recruitment of faculty, student leadership development opportunities, faculty development, lectureships, course development, equipment and future priorities as they emerge.


A successful entrepreneur, Larry Rigdon began his career in public accounting and advanced to become one of the nation’s premier leaders in the offshore marine services industry. A Kirksville native, Larry has worked around the globe, including Egypt, Mexico and Southeast Asia. During his career, he progressed through a series of management positions at several companies as the offshore marine service industry experienced significant consolidations during the 1980s and 1990s. As the executive vice president of Tidewater, one of the world’s largest marine-services providers, Larry was responsible for operations in areas including the United States, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union, among others.


By 2002, Larry had started his own offshore marine services company which came to be known as Rigdon Marine. He sold the company in June 2008 to GulfMark Offshore for an enterprise value of $585 million. That same year, Larry was named Entrepreneur of the Year for Offshore Marine Services by Ernst & Young. Larry has remained active in the industry and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Terresolve Technologies. He previously served on the Board of GulfMark Offshore and is active in several industry organizations.


In addition to earning a bachelor of science degree in accounting and business administration from Truman in 1970, Larry is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.


Janet Rigdon received a bachelor of science degree from Truman in 1971 and has volunteered with many community and non-profit organizations including the Truman State University Alumni Association and St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie, La.


Both Larry and Janet are charter members of the John R. Kirk Society, which recognizes annual gifts to Truman State University. The couple's most recent gift helped propel the University's "Bright Minds Bright Futures" campaign over its $30 million goal.

University Presents Award to State Farm Insurance

State Farm Insurance Receives Award   
President Troy D. Paino with representatives from State Farm Insurance at the Truman State University Foundation Banquet. Pictured, from left: Jennifer Maijala, Brian Maijala, Paino, Jim Camoriano, Steve Rose (’69) and Bonnie (Neuner) Kuebler (’87).

Strategic partnerships with corporations, foundations, and organizations are vitally important to Truman, and in 2006, the University began recognizing corporations and foundations for exemplary service and support of Truman and its students. For 2011, the University presented the Distinguished Corporation/Foundation Award to State Farm Insurance, a longtime supporter of Truman and its students.

This mutually beneficial relationship stretches back many years--several Truman graduates have made successful lifelong careers with the company, and the University continues to supply State Farm with new graduates in many areas of company operations. State Farm has reciprocated by making substantial charitable investments in the University, including a $100,000 gift to provide funding for a range of student-centered technology for Violette Hall.

 More recently, State Farm also made a $5,000 contribution to Truman’s Student in Free Enterprise, a not-for-profit international organization that provides students with opportunities for involvement and leadership. The gift provided funding for community projects organized by members of SIFE designed to help educate the campus and the community about finance.

The University also receives enhanced support from State Farm’s Matching Gift Program, which matches individual charitable contributions made to Truman by State Farm eligible associates, agents and retirees.  In all, State Farm’s corporate gifts to the University are nearly $200,000, the third largest corporate donor to the University. 

In addition to providing significant financial support to Truman State University, State Farm offers career opportunities for both students and graduates. Students have an opportunity to gain valuable work experience through internships with State Farm, and Truman is proud to be counted among the key schools at which the company regularly recruits. Today, more than 200 Truman constituents are employed with State Farm.

Creating Opportunities for Music Majors

Sharon Husmann and Shirley Hogan  
Sharon (Hogan) Husmann ('83) (on left) established a scholarship in honor of her mother, Shirley (Leber) Hogan ('56)(on right).

As a child from a large family growing up in the inner city of St. Louis, Mo., the thought of going to college was not in the forefront of plans for Shirley (Leber) Hogan (’56), however that all changed when she began playing the clarinet at McKinley High School under the direction of band director Howard Van Skike, a 1933 alumnus of Truman. Van Skike strongly influenced Shirley’s decision to attend his alma mater in the 1950s where she received a music scholarship and played in the band and the orchestra. Last year, Shirley’s daughter, Sharon (Hogan) Husmann (’83), continued this legacy by creating the Shirley Leber Hogan Woodwind Scholarship to commemorate her mother's record of service to music education.

“I decided to establish a scholarship in honor of my mother because her life has been so blessed by music, especially the clarinet,” said Sharon. “I felt it was time for her to reap the benefits of all the dedication and hard work, not only that she’s put into her profession, but all of the dedication and hard work and sacrifice that she and my dad made early on to finance my brother’s education and mine at Truman.” Sharon graduated from Truman in 1983 followed by her brother, Daniel Hogan, who graduated three years later.


After a distinguished career as a music educator, Shirley, a 1956 Truman alumnus, retired in 1994 from the Hazelwood School District, St. Louis, Mo. She taught music and second grade in St. Louis and Riverview Gardens School Districts, then served as a private studio teacher for an 11-year period before returning to teaching full time. After retirement, Shirley continued to teach music for 15 years--part-time at the St. Louis Community College and elementary levels in the Orchard Farm and Fort Zumwalt School Districts in St. Charles County, Mo. Today, she remains active as a performing clarinetist in small group ensembles and the Northwinds Community Band in Florissant, Mo.


By establishing the Shirley Leber Hogan Woodwind Scholarship in honor of her mother, Sharon hopes the scholarship will provide an opportunity for students to enjoy the same positive experience that members of her family have had at Truman. Sharon resides in O'Fallon, Mo., and is a special education teacher at North Middle School in the Ft. Zumwalt School District. She and her husband, Greg, have two daughters, Julie and Colleen.

Memorial Scholarship Honors Humanitarian

Marilyn Murphy and Sonya McLelland   
Marilyn Murphy ('89) (on left) and Sonya (Crabtree) McLelland ('92) in a photo taken in 1989.  

The Marilyn E. Murphy Memorial Scholarship was established by Sonya (Crabtree) McLelland (’92) in memory of her friend and fellow alumna. Though cancer took Marilyn Murphy’s life at a young age, she made a tremendous impact on all who had the privilege of knowing her, and her kindness, bravery, talent and beauty served as the inspiration for the scholarship.


McLelland, the administrative director of foundation, marketing and public relations for Cass Regional Medical Center, became friends with Murphy while both were attending the University in the late 1980s. The two friends shared a passion for music, and both were members of Sigma Alpha Iota, a music fraternity.


“Marilyn was a truly kind, unforgettable person and an inspiration to me in many ways,” remembers McLelland. “She always seemed to be smiling and laughing and would light up any room she entered. She was fearless, whether she was on stage playing her saxophone, serving as president of our SAI chapter, competing in the Miss Kirksville pageant or even joining a mariachi band during graduate school. If she put her mind to doing something, she did it, and she did it well,” McLelland added.


Marilyn Murphy   
Marilyn Murphy ('89)  

Murphy, who graduated from Truman in 1989, attended graduate school at Arizona State University and volunteered for the Peace Corps where she was assigned to Guatemala. Later, she went to Ecuador, where she worked with rural families to help improve nutrition and food supplies. Murphy then joined the staff of Heifer International, where she continued to work to end world hunger. Even while battling cancer, Murphy continued to be an advocate for those in need and fought for patients' rights in the workplace. She died in February 2010.


McLelland graduated from Truman in 1992 and recently established the scholarship through the Truman State University Foundation as a reminder of her friend’s spirit, and the many contributions Murphy made to Truman and to society. The scholarship will provide needed resources for music students who have a history of service, with preference given to those who volunteer for humanitarian causes.

Faculty and Staff Enhance the Truman Experience for Students

Faculty and Staff Campaign  

In addition to dedicating themselves daily to excellent teaching, research and outstanding service, Truman faculty and staff continue to show their commitment to Truman through gifts made to the annual Faculty and Staff Campaign. To ensure that Truman can fulfill its mission of being the premiere liberal arts university in the nation, employees of Truman have committed more than $1.3 million through the “Bright Minds Bright Futures” campaign over the past five years through gifts to scholarships, departments or special programs on campus, athletics, study abroad and other cultural opportunities.

 “I firmly believe that education transforms live,” said Melody (Mann) Chambers (’85), co-chair of the 2011 Faculty Staff Campaign and director of Admission. “I support Truman’s Faculty and Staff Campaign because it is essential that we work together to preserve and advance the high-quality, personalized ‘Truman Experience’ for the sake of our students, our immediate community and our global society.”

Royce Kallerud, campaign co-chair and professor of English, said, “I give to the Faculty and Staff Campaign because I believe in Truman’s public liberal arts and sciences mission and that Truman’s mission is vital for all of our futures.”

The broad participation of faculty and staff in this annual fundraising initiative sends a strong message to businesses and foundations that the Truman community believes in supporting the mission of Truman State University. The outstanding investment made by faculty and staff supports students who go on to become quality citizens who in turn give back to the community and make contributions to the world.

Students Show Support for Scholarship

During Black History Month in February, Bertha Thomas, assistant dean of Multicultural Affairs, issued a challenge to student groups affiliated with Multicultural Affairs pledging to make a $500 donation to the Black Alumni and Attendees Scholarship fund if current students matched the pledge.

Dedicated student organizations hosted small fundraising drives, individuals donated spare change and one student wrote a personal check for $100. The goal was reached by the end of March, and student organizations raised more than $600 for the scholarship.

"My hope is that 'Building A Legacy Through Giving' will become an annual Black History Month activity," said Thomas.

The Black Alumni and Attendees Scholarship was established in 2006 to support underrepresented students at Truman. Each fall, the scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman student.

ScholarshipPHOTO AT RIGHT: Bertha Thomas (left), assistant dean of Multicultural Affairs, presents a check to Denise Smith (right), director of Alumni Relations, for the Black Alumni and Attendees Scholarship. Pictured left to right, bottom row: LaMesha Brown, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.; Thomas; Smith; Jessica Johnson, National Association of Black Accountants; and Mark Gambaiana, vice president for University Advancement. Top row: Angel   McGee, Association of Black Collegians; Donneice Mitchum, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.; David Lee White, Jr.; and Ivy Pierce, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Not pictured: Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Theta Omega and Unique Ensemble.

Northeast Missouri State Bank Provides Athletic Funding

The Northeast Missouri State Bank in Kirksville, Mo., has made a commitment of $50,000 to provide athletic scholarships to students competing in baseball, wrestling, men’s swimming and men’s tennis.

Truman will partner with Northeast Missouri State Bank to form a scholarship program designed to assist those sports, which were recently impacted by the University budget reductions. The program, announced by the bank’s chairman Randy Riley, a 1975 Truman alumnus, calls for a total of $10,000 to be available for scholarships each year, starting with the 2011-2012 academic year and continuing for the next five years.

“The University is grateful to Northeast Missouri State Bank for stepping forward and helping to address a tremendous need in such an impactful way,” said President Troy D. Paino. “This scholarship program will be a great resource for our coaches in the recruitment process.” 

 Giving Matters

Join us in building a legacy for the leaders of tomorrow by making a donation to Truman State University today. By making a gift to Truman or including the University in your will, you can help talented students achieve their dreams. For more information, visit or call the Office of Advancement, 1(800) 452-6678 or (660) 785-4133.



Matching Gift Programs Can Increase the Impact of Your Gift to Truman


Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made to Truman State University by their employees as well as spouses of their employees. To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, check with your company’s human resources department or visit



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