Dottie Sweet Names UCM in $2.7 Million Bequest
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 5, 2010) – UCM President Aaron Podolefsky has announced the university will be the beneficiary of a $2.7 million bequest from Dorothy Sweet in memory of her husband, Robert A. Sweet Jr., a 1941 UCM alumnus. A native Virginian, Sweet plans to bequeath through the UCM Foundation an estate gift to establish the Robert A. and Dorothy S. Sweet Endowed Scholarship in Physics.
Podolefsky said this is among the largest bequests pledged to the institution. He added, “Dottie is an individual who enjoys sharing stories about her experiences and great adventures. Over the last few years, I’ve greatly appreciated her sharp wit and strong beliefs. I think her commitment through this gift speaks volumes about her feelings toward the university, and her tremendous desire to help our students.”
The bequest coincides with the Scholarships NOW initiative, which is an opportunity to make it possible for more students to realize their higher education dreams through privately funded scholarships.
“We’re very grateful to Dottie Sweet, and for others who recognize the benefits of making a higher education more accessible to students, particularly in these tough economic times,” said Joe Kremer, executive director of the UCM Foundation.
Robert Alfred Sweet, Jr. died May 12, 2007, at the age of 87. He grew up in Warrensburg and graduated from UCM with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics, while also being named in 1941 to Who’s Who in American Colleges. After a stint as an officer in the U.S. Navy and service in the Pacific during World War II, he enrolled at Northwestern University in Chicago and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering. In 1961, while working for Bendix Corporation in Maryland, he was transferred to Los Angeles to serve as national sales manager of the Military Computer Division. When Bendix merged with a competitor in 1963, he accepted a position on the technical staff with The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA. He retired Nov. 1, 1991.
Mr. and Mrs. Sweet were married for 27 years. Mrs. Sweet is a graduate of the University of Richmond. She served many years as a civilian employee with the U.S. Army, including working with the 441st Counterintelligence Corps in Austria during the Korean War.
Robert Sweet’s connections to campus include his mother, Ruth, a 1923 Central Missouri graduate who had a public education career and also taught on campus, and his brother, Grove, who was a student on campus three years before joining the Army in World War II. In 1875, Robert Sweet’s grandfather, Edwin Gilbert, was in the first four-year class of graduates in what was then known as the State Normal School for the Second District. He went on to medical school and became a practicing physician in Warrensburg.
The scholarship named after the Sweets will be specifically for students studying in physics. Additional details will be announced prior to the award of the first scholarship.