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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (May 21, 2008) – A $400,000 estate gift from longtime Warrensburg resident Margaret Berneice Crayton will create a new scholarship for elementary education majors at the University of Central Missouri.
Career Educator Gives Back to Her Alma Mater
As lifelong educators who valued the opportunities they received at UCM, Crayton and her husband, Elvie L. “Ted” Crayton, worked hard and saved throughout their marriage of 52 years. Thanks to their work ethic, thrift and generosity, the E.L. and Margaret B. Crayton Memorial Scholarship has been established.
“It’s inspiring to see that the Craytons, through hard work and thrift, were able to develop the resources that allowed them to give back to their community and university,” said UCM President Aaron Podolefsky. “Mrs. Crayton’s generosity will allow generations of future elementary teachers follow in her footsteps, becoming valuable members of the communities in which they live.”
Elvie R. "Ted" and Margaret Berneice Crayton
Served Rural Communities by Influencing Young Lives
Ted earned a bachelor’s degree in 1937 and became an industrial arts teacher and coach, later receiving a master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri and serving as a school principal. Berneice, the former Margaret Berneice Whiteman and a native of Warrensburg, graduated from UCM with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1949. Together they worked in a variety of Missouri schools districts, including Strasburg, Rushville, Drexel, Wendyville, Buffalo and Pleasant Hill. They also maintained a family farm in southern Johnson County, MO, returning to the area during the summers to manage the farm while continuing their careers as educators.
Returned to Warrensburg and Became Involved
The couple retired from the Kansas City, Mo., School District in the early 1970s and made Warrensburg their home, becoming involved in the community. Following Ted’s death in 1984, Berneice continued to remain active in the First United Methodist Church of Warrensburg, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Democratic Club, the Western Missouri Medical Center Auxiliary, the Lady Elks and the Johnson County Retired Teachers Association. For many years, she served as a Welcome Wagon hostess for Warrensburg. She died in April, 2007, in Warrensburg at the age of 93.
Educators Invest in the Future
“Mrs. Crayton’s gift to future generations of educators is a wonderful example of the lasting legacy an estate gift can offer to UCM and its graduates,” said Larry Cowan, vice president for university advancement. “True to Central Missouri’s founding as a teacher’s college, many of our alumni who have had lifelong careers in education have provided for the university in this manner. This is a great way for our alumni to show how much the university meant in their lives.”
Generosity Benefits UCM Teacher Education Program
“We are grateful for this generous gift, and excited about the financial assistance it will bring to our future educators,” said Michael Wright, dean of the UCM College of Education. “With increasing costs, this kind of assistance is important to our students, and this scholarship definitely will make a difference. We are very appreciative that Mrs. Crayton had the foresight and compassion to provide this kind of support for our teacher education program.”