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First Class

The first class of Steward Scholars arrives at UCM.
By Mike Greife

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For three University of Central Missouri freshmen, arrival on campus this fall with more than 1,700 first-year students signaled the beginning of a significant part of their lives.

During the initial days of their college careers, the three computer information systems majors experienced several firsts, including residence halls, life away from home and college-level coursework.

Jeff Kuntz, Keith Weston and Kayla Rogers-Sigetich also are the first UCM students to claim the title of Steward Scholars. They are the first recipients of the Steward Scholarships established by UCM alumnus David Steward '73 and his wife, Thelma, in 2011.

Keith Weston, Jeff Kuntz and Kayla Rogers-Sigetic

As founder, chair and majority owner of St. Louis-based World Wide Technology, Inc., the largest African American-owned corporation in America, Steward recognized the quality education he received at UCM was important to his own success. To assure that future students would benefit from the same, he and his wife pledged $500,000 to the UCM Foundation to start the Steward Scholars Program, the first of its kind at UCM.

"I've been fortunate to have great people in my life --- teachers, coaches and others --- who cared enough about me to give me their very best," Steward said. "Giving support to those teachers and leaders in our system is extremely important. I'm excited to give back to my alma mater and create this signature scholarship program with so much potential to shape the future of technology."

Steward Scholars will receive full tuition assistance in their pursuit of a Bachelor of Science degree in computer information systems. They also will receive international experiences and opportunities to collaborate with experts in technology fields that go above and beyond most scholarship programs.

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