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Today: Spring 2013 - University of Central Missouri

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Cambium Society

Students Build Strong Core for University Growth

A small group of students started a big movement this spring for the University of Central Missouri's future growth. They became the first members of the Cambium Society, a new giving recognition group formed by the UCM Foundation for current and graduating students. Biologically speaking, cambium is the cell layer that increases a tree's diameter. More commonly, they are known as a tree's growth rings. A strong cambium is what made Old Elm the most legendary tree in UCM history.

Meet two of these Cambium Society members.

Sarah "Bee" Black
Sarah Bee
Bee Black is not one to leave a major decision until the last minute. At halfway through her undergraduate college career, she already has established her plans for a career in medicine. As a biology pre-med major with a minor in nutrition at UCM, she plans to further her education with degrees in traditional and naturalistic medicine as a dual major at the University of Kansas, allowing her to combine the practice of traditional medicine with holistic medicine and nutrition.

She knows she has more years of intensive study ahead of her, but she also realizes that her experiences while at UCM will be a major part of her future successes in life. She also sees the value in giving back to UCM through her membership in the Cambium Society.

"I've had the opportunity to work for the UCM Office of Development on behalf of the UCM Foundation with the Mule Call phone-a-thon team, and I know why it's important for students to include giving back to their alma maters in their plans before graduation," she said. Current students can join alumni and friends of the university to ensure future generation of UCM students received the same excellent opportunities they received."

Black also feels it's important to establish the habit of giving early, establishing an important connection with the university that will last a lifetime.

"As a student, I have benefited from the generosity of others who gave back and allowed me to attend UCM," she said. The Cambium Society offers UCM students an opportunity to begin giving back at a level they can afford now—as little as $10 per year. Then, as the years go by, they can increase their giving."

In addition to her work with the Mule Call team, Bee also has served UCM as an alumni ambassador and as orientation leader for the Office of Admissions. She also has been active in the student chapter of the American Chemical Society. This involvement has allowed her to share her enthusiasm for her opportunities at UCM with others.

UCM will be a key part of my future," she said. I know I will have other opportunities that also will allow me to grow personally and professionally, but I appreciate the opportunity to begin giving back now to the university that gave me my start."

Kyle Shell
Kyle Shell
As a student at UCM, Kyle Shell showed he knows a thing or two about giving back. In 2012, he served as the student member of the UCM Board of Governors, and he has served on the UCM Homecoming leadership committee and participated in the annual Week of Welcome, MLK Service Day, Roaring Red, MO Volunteers and the UCM blood drives. His list of accomplishments was instrumental in his being named a recipient of the 2013 Charno Award.

After graduating in December 2012, Kyle continued on in the master's program for occupational safety and health.

When he completes that degree in May 2014, he wants to work as a safety professional somewhere in the Midwest. Kyle attributes the supportive atmosphere at UCM, including the many helpful professors with open door policies, with helping him achieve his academic and professional goals.

UCM is really a family-like community where everyone helps everyone else," said Kyle. UCM's motto 'Education for Service' is real because people truly care about bettering not just themselves but those around them."

In Kyle's mind, service and giving back is really a habit that anyone can form, and that is why he thinks the Cambium Society is a great idea. This society is an easy way to set a trend that hopefully I can follow for many years to come," said Kyle. By joining this society as a graduating senior,

I can begin my annual giving early and continue for many years, setting a precedence that hopefully I can carry on for a lifetime."

Kyle also appreciates the fact that the commitment of Cambium is realistic about the finances a recent graduate faces. By asking students to join with a gift of $10 and expecting the annual gift to increase by only $10 a year, the commitment is not overwhelming. "I am able to participate in giving but not stress my finances, as I have loans to pay off in the near future and must start living on my own relatively soon," said Kyle. "It is so important to give back to the institution that has given so much to me, and I enjoy being able to help students who are in the same shoes I was in just last year."