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


Tankersley-Bankhead Named Keynote Speaker for 2017 MLK Freedom Scholarship Dinner

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 21, 2016)– Beth Tankersley-Bankhead, director of postsecondary initiatives for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, has been named the keynote speaker for the University of Central Missouri’s 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Scholarship Dinner, planned for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in the Elliott Union ballroom.

Beth Tankersley-Bankhead, MLK 2017
Beth Tankersley-Bankhead

Tankersley-Bankhead served as the director of community engagement at UCM from 1997 to 2004, coordinating the university’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration during that time.

In her current post, Tankersley-Bankhead works with grant- and non-grant-related postsecondary initiatives, including Kauffman Scholars, Inc., and the development of a new Kansas City Scholars program. Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Tankersley-Bankhead was the executive director of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri and the Missouri College Advising Corps at the University of Missouri. She led the successful growth of MCAC from seven high schools statewide to 41, including 14 in Kansas City.

While at UCM, Tankersley-Bankhead also developed and oversaw the growth of a number of diversity outreach and collaboration programs, including the Kansas City Task Force, the Cesar Chavez Scholarship program, the Summer Bridge program, the Minority Scholars program. She previously worked at Eastern Illinois University, University of Nebraska-Kearney and Kappa Delta Pi.

Tankersley-Bankhead earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and grades 7-12 English education from UCM, and a Master of Science degree in counseling and guidance with an emphasis in college student personnel from Eastern Illinois University. She received a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies with an emphasis in higher and continuing education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Tickets for the Freedom Scholarship Dinner are from the UCM Office of Mentoring, Advocacy and Peer Support, Dockery 212, or by calling 660-543-4156. Tickets also will be available through the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, 100 South Holden St. Individual tickets for the dinner may be purchased at the gold level for $100, the silver level for $75, or the bronze level for $50. Sponsored tables of eight also are available for purchase at the gold, silver and bronze levels.

The Freedom Scholarship Dinner has funded more than 190 scholarships totaling more than $175,000 since its inception in 1998.

Additional events for the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration include Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award luncheon; the Community Worship and Praise Service; the Issues Forum; the MLK Day of Service; and the Student Volunteer Fair and Community Service Blood Drive.