Article Category Archives: Around the Quad

University Receives National Attention

For Truman, 2014 began with a lot of recognition for its academic reputation and affordability, and the University even earned mentions on NBC’s “Today” show and the front page of the USA Today.

In January, the latest Princeton Review book, “The Best Value Colleges: The 150 Best-Buy Schools and What It Takes to Get In,” recognized Truman as the ninth best value public college in the nation. Of the public universities listed in the top 10, Truman had the lowest tuition for out-of-state students.

The Princeton Review list consists of 75 public and 75 private universities. Findings are based on an analysis of admissions, tuition and financial aid data for about 650 colleges in the 2012-13 school year. The company says the 150 colleges on its 2014 Best Value list “do an exceptional job helping bright students earn a degree without going broke.”

The announcement included Truman’s aforementioned nods on NBC and in the USA Today on Jan. 28.

Representatives from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine have praised Truman twice this year. In January, Truman was recognized as one of the nation’s best values in public education, coming in at No. 12 on the magazine’s list of 100 “Best Values in Public Colleges.” Truman was the highest-rated Missouri school on that list, and the only university in the state to be included in the top 65.

In an online story published in March, the magazine’s editors ranked Truman at No. 3 on their list of “25 Best College Values Under $30,000 a Year” for 2014. The University also came in at No. 3 on their list of “30 Best College Values in the Midwest” for 2014. Truman was the only Missouri school on the list, which was published at

Truman students received some attention for their hard work too. The Business Insider listed Truman at No. 13 on its list of “The 20 Public Colleges with the Smartest Students.” The list was compiled using data from Niche’s college rankings of “Smartest Girls” and “Smartest Guys.”

Kochanski Appointed to Truman Board of Governors

Kelly Kochanski stands with Sen. Brian Munzlinger at her Gubernatorial Appointments Committee hearing in Jefferson City, Mo.

Kelly Kochanski stands with Sen. Brian Munzlinger at her Gubernatorial Appointments Committee hearing in Jefferson City, Mo.

Kelly Kochanski of St. Louis was  appointed as the student representative to the Truman Board of Governors by Gov. Jay Nixon, Feb. 14 and confirmed by the Missouri Senate, March 26. She is an exercise science major with a psychology and biology double minor.

Kochanski is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a national coeducational service fraternity, and has been active as a volunteer in numerous charitable and church organizations in both high school and college.

University Publication Highlights Local Endeavors

Titled in honor of the University’s namesake, “Harry: A Journal of Thought and Action,” is a publication that serves as the final product of the Communication Department’s news and reporting and feature writing courses. The content is done entirely by undergraduate Truman students under the mentorship of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and associate professor of communication, Marilyn Yaquinto. While the process of interviewing, researching and reporting serves as an educational experience for students, the journal itself invites the entire campus community to join in the interdisciplinary learning process, as stories focused on pioneers in business, industry, government, education and science are highlighted. A subscription to “Harry” is free and can be requested online at

Campus Conservation Efforts Earn Praise

Trees2014Truman received formal acknowledgement for its beautiful grounds with a 2013 Tree Campus USA recognition.

Tree Campus USA, a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation. To obtain this distinction, Truman met five core standards for effective campus forest management: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.

In celebration of earning Tree Campus USA recognition, Truman hosted a tree planting ceremony and reception on the southwest side of Magruder Hall.

Forgotten Time Capsule Brings Back Memories

Charles Tharp reveals a school newspaper from the 1954 Science Hall time capsule, which was opened in May. Pictured, from left to right: University President Troy Paino, Jon Broyles of the Freemasons, Professor Emeritus Max Bell, Tharp and President Emeritus Jack Magruder.

Charles Tharp reveals a school newspaper from the 1954 Science Hall time capsule, which was opened in May. Pictured, from left to right: University President Troy Paino, Jon Broyles of the Freemasons, Professor Emeritus Max Bell, Tharp and President Emeritus Jack Magruder.

Thanks to alumnus Charles Tharp, attendees were able to take a step back in history when a time capsule enclosed in the 1954 Science Hall cornerstone was opened during a ceremony on campus May 5, 2014.

Tharp, who had owned a local landfill, grabbed the cornerstone when portions of the Science Hall building, now known as Magruder Hall, were demolished to make room for renovations and additional construction in the 2000s. It sat in his yard for the last decade and this past spring when he was cleaning vines from the stone he noticed the weather had eroded some mortar from the back, revealing the time capsule. Tharp, contacted his friend and former professor, Dr. Max Bell, who had been on campus when the Aug. 5, 1954, cornerstone dedication took place. Bell, a professor emeritus of botany who divides his time between Florida, Kirksville and Alaska, agreed to help Tharp with the opening of the time capsule.

Also assisting with the reveal was Dr. Jack Magruder, president emeritus of Truman. Magruder was a sophomore chemistry major at the time of the 1954 dedication. As the cornerstone was originally dedicated by the Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, Jon Broyles, grand master of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri, spoke about the history of the Masons and their role in building construction.

Buried in the time capsule were copies of the school newspaper, course schedules, student handbooks, alumni magazines and a copy of the Aug. 5, 1954, dedication speech delivered by Phil Donnelly, Missouri’s governor at the time.

Thanks to Tharp’s willingness to donate the cornerstone and the time capsule back to the University, the contents are available for review in the special collections gallery located on the third floor of Pickler Memorial Library. The cornerstone will be placed close to its original location on the north side of Magruder Hall. Photos from the time capsule unveiling event may be found at

Music Faculty Members Say Goodbye

When the fall 2014 semester begins at Truman, the Music Department will be without some of its longtime faculty members.

Dan Peterson, director of bands, and Thomas Trimborn, professor of music and music education, retired this summer. Between the two of them they had nearly 60 combined years at Truman.

Dan Peterson

Dan Peterson

During his 36 years at Truman, Peterson became one of the longest tenured band directors in the University’s history. He also served as the conductor of the Wind Symphony, which he created in 1978. Under Peterson’s leadership, the Wind Symphony gained national recognition through performances at both regional and national music conferences. Peterson served numerous times as a guest conductor and clinician for honor bands and festivals, as well as a show consultant for marching bands. Peterson was inducted into the Missouri Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 2008. As he begins his new phase of his life as a retired Truman faculty member, he looks forward to staying in Kirksville, with extended winter visits to the warmth of Florida.

Thomas Trimborn

Thomas Trimborn

Trimborn’s teaching career spanned 45 years, 21 of which took place at Truman. As the director of the Master of Arts in Music Education program he had the privilege of working closely with some 162 MAE music graduates, many of whom are now teaching in Missouri, throughout the country and abroad. He estimates he has driven more than a quarter million miles to observe interns in the region working with wonderful mentor teachers, and has provided artwork for 80 Missouri Music Educators Association magazine covers. In addition to music, he has a life-long interest in Abraham Lincoln that led him to create a series of Lincoln portraits with reproductions, and to publish a book “Encounters With Lincoln: Images and Words.” In his retirement, Trimborn is looking forward to travelling, doing more artwork, walking and dusting off his trombone.

The two conducted a farewell concert in April in Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall, which was live streamed for those not able to attend in person. Although the streaming was interrupted by an electrical surge caused by a thunderstorm, the entire concert was recorded and a professionally-produced DVD is in the works, including multiple camera perspectives and highlights from the post-concert reception. Anyone interested in owning a copy of the DVD can contact To view a sample from the concert, visit

Director of Campus Mail Services Honored at Army Ceremony

Roger Marsh, right, accepts his Army Commendation Medal from Lt. Col. Steven Petersen. Marsh’s wife Irmgard, center, was by  his side during the ceremony, which took place Feb. 18 on campus.

Roger Marsh, right, accepts his Army Commendation Medal from Lt. Col. Steven Petersen. Marsh’s wife Irmgard, center, was by his side during the ceremony, which took place Feb. 18 on campus.

With friends, family and co-workers gathered together, Roger Marsh, director of campus mail services, was awarded the Army Commendation Medal Feb. 18 in the Student Union Building.

Although more than 30 years have passed since Marsh’s service in the U.S. Army, he just now is receiving recognition for his dedication because the paperwork for the honor previously had been misplaced. However, with the help of Rep. Sam Graves, Marsh received sponsorship for a request to relocate his award.

Five years after the initial request, and after a long process of contacting old officers and filing various forms, Marsh got word that he would finally receive the medal. Having worked at Truman since 2006, he requested the ceremony take place on campus with the help of Truman’s ROTC.

After the presentation of a letter of recognition from Graves, Lt. Col. Steven Petersen gave remarks to those in attendance at the ceremony.

“This is not a favor, this is our duty,” Peterson said. “We are the Army we are today because of the generation before us. Because of the battles they fought for us, we are able to be that much better.”

Following Petersen’s speech, Marsh received the Army Commendation Medal. At the end of the ceremony, he addressed the crowd with gratitude.

“I want to thank everyone who has been involved in my success,” Marsh said. “It was teamwork—always was a team effort and always will be.”

School of Business Maintains High Standards

Both the School of Business and its students are continuing to set high marks of achievement.

Earlier this year, the School maintained both its business and accounting accreditation by AACSB-International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business and accounting education. Only 694 institutions worldwide hold AACSB accreditation and less than 5 percent of the world’s accounting programs have earned AACSB’s specialized accounting accreditation.

Additionally, Truman accounting graduates were among the top performers on the Uniform CPA Examination in 2013. Truman’s first-time pass rate of 75.9 percent ranked 33rd in the nation among all institutions with 10 or more candidates. Truman’s first-time candidates were 11th in the nation for medium-sized institutions (21-60 candidates). Both rankings place Truman in the top 4 percent of institutional performance nationally. Truman had 53 first-time candidates sitting for the CPA.

Student Organization Makes Global Impact

Looking to connect his study abroad experiences in Taiwan with his education at Truman, junior Michael Fentress kept in contact with a Taiwanese organization that allows him to promote knowledge of international business tactics.

While in Taiwan, Fentress met Luke Lin, founder of My World Connect, a non-profit organization that seeks to further the learning of the English language. As a member of Truman Enactus, Fentress saw potential for collaboration between the two organizations dedicated to making positive social changes. Lin helped Enactus network with different schools in Taiwan and ultimately form the ConnectTaiwan project.

The program takes a three-pronged approach to teaching business practices that can be implemented in both the U.S. and Taiwan. First, the students are given a lesson in class that they work through with their teachers. Then they view a video put together by Truman Enactus offering a different way to view the same lesson. Finally, students are broken into small groups where they work one-on-one with an Enactus member over Skype to clear up any questions.

The project culminates with each small group presenting at a community fair in July, where they pitch an idea for a new business and the strategies they would use to sell a product or service.

While the planning stage for this project began in August 2013, Enactus started implementing the lessons and small group work in January 2014. According to senior Ashley Lynch, ConnectTaiwan has been a huge hit with the students of Changsing Junior High School.

“We have witnessed an overwhelming reaction from the students with this program,” Lynch said. “It amazes me how excited and eager the students are to commit to this program in addition to their current school workload.”

Institute Partners with Chinese Education Provider for U.S.-Based Programs

Truman’s Institute for Academic Outreach (IAO) has established a partnership that will bring Chinese students to America for summer programming and also creates branches of existing University programs overseas.

Representatives from the University traveled to Beijing, China, in November 2013 to finalize an agreement with the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP). The partnership with FLTRP, which comes after more than a year of formal discussion and planning, will open the door to new opportunities for international recruitment, intercultural understanding and enhanced revenue.

Beginning in 2014, the IAO will manage two programs in partnership with FLTRP. The first will be a study tour for Chinese middle school students involving a bi-coastal tour of the United States and a five-day intensive session on Truman’s campus. The second program will be a language academy operating jointly with the University’s Joseph Baldwin Academy. The program will offer a course in Chinese language and culture to American middle school students and a parallel course in English to visiting Chinese students, both housed on Truman’s campus.

The agreement also envisions the establishment of a small-scale satellite operation of Truman’s Joseph Baldwin Academy at the FLTRP’s International Convention Centre in Beijing as early as 2016-2017. It would serve both visiting American students as well as Chinese students from outside Beijing.

For more information on IAO summer programs for youth, visit