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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM Student Benefits from MEM Scholarship Gift

Contact: Dalene Abner
WARRENSBURG, Mo. (Dec. 13, 2013) — A University of Central Missouri senior will have a greater opportunity to succeed when he graduates with less student debt next spring with less, thanks to a scholarship funded by a gift to the UCM Foundation from Missouri Employers Mutual of Columbia, Mo.

MEM Scholarship

From left to right are Leigh Ann Blunt, chair of the UCM School of Environmental, Physical and Applied Sciences; Jim Owen, president and CEO of Missouri Employers Mutual; Ethan Hess, current MEM scholarship recipient and his mother, Gina; and Shirley Johnson, MEM public affairs program manager.

Ethan Hess was awarded the MEM Outstanding Student Scholarship for the fall and spring semesters. Hess explained that since his father’s death five years ago, the family’s financial responsibility has fallen on his mother, Gina.

“I can’t begin to tell you how much this scholarship is helping me! Money is very tight for my mom who works 50 hours a week to pay the bills and doesn’t have any left to help me with college,” he said. “This scholarship has made it possible for me to really focus on my studies and not worry about having a huge financial burden when I graduate. It is a great relief to my mom and me that I received this scholarship. It was truly a blessing.”

Hess, a safety management major from Macon, Mo., recently worked with Dairy Farmers of America in Kansas City, Mo., as its first corporate safety intern. The internship gave him an opportunity to travel to manufacturing plants, network with safety coordinators and plant managers, and experience industrial safety from a corporate perspective.

 “We’re passionate about workplace safety at MEM, so it’s a natural fit for us to foster that passion in UCM students,” said Jim Owen, MEM president and chief executive officer.

Since MEM partnered with the school in 2007, the number of students majoring in safety management at UCM has doubled. The number of degrees awarded annually has risen 86 percent. Ninety-five percent of these students have been employed within six months after graduation, and the majority work in Missouri.

“Many improvements contributing to our program’s ongoing success have been possible only through MEM’s support,” said Leigh Ann Blunt, chair. “In addition to the annual scholarship for our outstanding student, their gifts have renovated our primary lab and established an equipment endowment for its annual maintenance. We also are grateful for MEM employees who have participated on our advisory boards, guest lectured in our classrooms, and provided job shadowing and internships for our students.” she added.

MEM is a safety company that provides workers compensation insurance. The company helps policyholders eliminate injuries and reduce claims costs to protect their people and their bottom lines. Headquartered in Columbia, with offices in Springfield, Kansas City and St. Louis, MEM is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service, quality loss prevention expertise and timely, personal claims management.