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Rotary Foundation | University News | affordability | Duane R. Sterling Scholarship-Rotary Program

Gift to Rotary Foundation Creates Duane R. Sterling Scholarship-Rotary Program at UCM

By Mike Greife, March 7, 2016

WARRENSBURG, MO – A gift to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International by Warrensburg businessman Lynn Harmon will provide funding for a partnership between the University of Central Missouri Foundation and The Rotary Foundation to establish the Duane R. Sterling Scholarship-Rotary Program.

The agreement recently was formalized in a signing ceremony at UCM’s Smiser Alumni Center attending by representatives of UCM, Rotary District 6080, The Rotary Foundation, and members of the Harmon and Sterling families.

The new scholarship will provide funding for one full year of study for an undergraduate or graduate international student at UCM. The scholarship will cover tuition, fees, room and board, books and reasonable expenses. Recipients will be known as Sterling Scholars, with the first recipient to begin studies at UCM in fall 2016. Sterling Scholars will be involved in extracurricular activities and hosted by Rotary District 6080 at a variety of events and opportunities throughout Warrensburg and Johnson County.

The scholarship honors longtime Warrensburg resident Duane R. Sterling, UCM university director emeritus for planning and policy and longtime Rotarian. Sterling served the university in a variety of roles during his 32-year career. He is a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Warrensburg, serving in a variety of leadership roles, including club president and district governor. Following his retirement from UCM, he served as general manager of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, Evanston, Ill.

During his career at UCM, Sterling served as legislative lobbyist, working to secure operating and capital appropriations for the university, as well as seeking and supporting legislation favorable to higher education in Missouri.

In addition to his work at the university, Sterling served at the state level on several groups dealing with education and technology concerns. He was a member of the Governor’s Commission on Informational Technology, Missouri Goals 2000 Education Panel, and the Board of Examiners for the Missouri Quality Foundation.

Expressing his appreciation for the efforts of all parties concerned who worked together to bring about the agreement, Harmon explained the significance of the scholarship named in honor of his longtime friend and fellow Rotarian.

“Duane Sterling exemplifies the mission of Rotary International, which is to bring the people of the world together for the benefit of all,” he said. “His commitment to UCM and the principles of Rotary has created many opportunities for young people in the past, and this scholarship will make it possible for that to continue in a significant manner.”

“UCM is defined by the community of Warrensburg, and Rotary has found a purpose in this community through the commitments of the Sterling and Harmon families,” said UCM President Chuck Ambrose. “UCM and Rotary have a common commitment to service and the student experience, which makes this scholarship significant to us here at UCM.”


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