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The Need to Belong

UCM Foundation 2011 Annual Report

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He and his wife also started a scholarship in honor of her mother "because she attended UCM and had a very successful teaching career." Said the former All-American wrestler and UCM Athletic Hall of Fame member, "We believe the greatest gifts are those that are not required or expected but rather are given out of appreciation for how we have been blessed."

Board member Sharon Gabel, a 1964 alumnus and a retired executive with Levi Strauss, credits the influence of fellow board member, retired educator Jim Appleberry, for her gift. "I am proud to be a part of this historic achievement," she says. Even more, she gives credit to her company's matching gift program. "I chose the Presidents Society and encourage others who have this corporate backing to do the same," she says. "It doubles the bucks."

Fifteen years of separation marked Wade Carpenter's reengagement with his alma mater. He was virtually detached from the university after he graduated in 1990. "I've been surprised to see the direction, leadership and initiatives that are happening all around campus and the impact UCM is having on the region," he said. He gives to the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies to "support the financial planning industry where I have dedicated my career and currently have the most passion." His gift at the Presidents Society level comes from his appreciation of the skills he gained at UCM that allowed him to develop and grow a business the past 20 years.

Board member Jesse West also credits UCM for his professional success. The Warrensburg native and 1987 Central Missouri alumnus followed in the footsteps of his late father, Rowland West, when he became a banker.

Annual Report

"I believe in what this university does to prepare students for success," he said, adding that UCM gave him both the confidence and humility to enjoy continued professional growth. "Given the strains on state funding and the impact that has had on higher education, it is increasingly important for those of us who have benefited from UCM to give back so other deserving students can build on our legacy."

Why did West give at the Presidents Society level? West, who became the board president this past month, said, "because it is important for us, as members of the Foundation board, to demonstrate that we are willing to put our money where our mouth is regarding financial support to this university."

For UCM President Chuck Ambrose, having Foundation directors attain their 100 percent Presidents Society membership goal was a strong statement. "Through their personal financial support, each member of the Foundation board demonstrated the value of a UCM education," he said. "They are not only providing good leadership, they are reaching into their own pockets to make sure the university continues to provide opportunities for students to succeed."


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