Donor — Spotlight
What does Southeast Missouri State University mean to you?
Southeast means everything to me and my family. After all, that is where it all began. I got my degree there in 1962 which led to a very successful career in business for 40 years. This provided the financial resources to fund our passion for education at several schools. This is a ongoing effort to this day. Before graduating, I was blessed to meet my future wife and life partner at Southeast in 1959. Gloria King and I were married on June 17,1961 and have 2 sons, both successful doctors and 3 grandchildren. We will celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary in a few months. If I hadn’t come down to Southeast in 1957, none of my life would have happened. I am so grateful to have lived my life and shared it with with my family, my TKE brothers and Southeast Missouri State University.
Why is it important to support students (at a time like this)?
It is always important to heip promote education but even more in these challenging financial times. What better way to invest your resources then in education? I am a first generation college graduate in my family. I am grateful that my Dad encouraged me to do something that he never had the opportunity to do. I never got a scholarship but my wife Gioria did and she never forget it to this day. We are grateful that we can now pay back by supporting students and programs in education.
Why do you give to Southeast?
Providing scholarships is a way for us to pay back the university for the education and family we enjoy today. We have always seen education as a requirement for a successful career and we want to do everything we can to help all students get a good education and have a good life after graduating.
Why do you believe the work of the Foundation is important?
Having served on the Foundation Board for many years and continuing on as a Emeritus Board member, I have seen the results of the boards actions. The board is the primary fundraising arm of the university. The most important part of the board’s efforts is to provide scholarships to our students to relieve the financial stress and allow them to focus on their studies. One of the best moves the board made is to provide money to match donations for new scholarships. It encouraged donors to step up and create many new scholarships still ongoing. What a great investment they made.
What personal experiences have you had with the students you have helped (who have been helped by the Foundation)?
Too many to detail but a couple are especially important. Our first scholarship was awarded to a young lady named Jessica Winkle. She went on to graduate and became a math teacher at Lindbergh High school. Later, we helped her set up a new endowed scholarship to further education for more students. Paying back! Another noteworthy student we have a ongoing relationship with is a young man from Kenya. His name is Nelson Mwangi and he was a RA in the residence hall bearing our name. Nelson is a amazing young man and we are grateful for having him in our lives.
Why should other people give to Southeast?
Look at it as a investment in the future of our country. Many of our graduates would not have completed their education without the financial support they received from donors like you. Don’t put off the opportunity to help a student achieve something that will benefit him or her forever. Believe me, it will be the best investment you will make !
Are you a Southeast alumnus?
How has earning your degree from Southeast impacted your life?
It provided me with the opportunity for a very successful business career and a comfortable retirement. More importantly, it created the financial resources to allow us to establish many endowed scholarships there and assist the university in other areas. It has been a game changer for us and the university.
How have you been impacted by the gifts of donors?
My wife Gloria received a scholarship in her freshman year in 1959 and is thankful to this day for it. Back in those days, scholarships were not that plentiful and it was a honor to get one. Our two sons both completed their degrees on scholarships at MSSU. A different school but the same impact on our lives. Scholarships are a hand up for not only a student but a family.