Article Category Archives: Giving Matters

University Award Recognizes Alumni Heroes

DanSem-Nepal-2015-5Selflessness and contributing to the greater good are traits found in many Truman alumni, and in 2015, the University created a way to showcase some of those individuals.

The TruHero Project is designed to recognize students and alumni who assume heroic roles, either by choice or by necessity. These are individuals who do remarkable things for others. Among the plethora of worthy candidates, Dan Sem (’05) was selected as the inaugural recipient of the TruHero Award.

DanSem-Nepal-2015-13In the wake of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015, Sem traveled to the country to help with relief efforts. Providing food, water, shelter and tools to rebuild amongst the most affected and remote communities that they could enter, Sem’s team provided more than 22 tons of rice, 250 portable water filtration units and hundreds of tarps to temporarily shelter people who had lost their homes. In addition, they provided tin sheeting for almost 1,000 families to build longer-lasting structures to weather the impending monsoons.

Nepal was not Sem’s first experience helping others. After graduating from Truman with a Bachelor of Arts in communication, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army through Truman’s ROTC program. First assigned to a medical evacuation battalion in South Korea for a year, he was then sent on an 11-month combat deployment to northern Iraq as a medical logistics officer. He spent his remaining years in the military in an infantry brigade as head medical planner, which included a year-long deployment in northern Iraq.

After moving to Corpus Christi, Texas, to volunteer at a church ministry, Sem became pastor of the Sovereign Grace Community Church in 2011. He also established Inbound Horizons Inc., a small business focused on website development and digital marketing. In addition to starting his own business, Sem also created the nonprofit Thirsty Ground International (TGI) in response to the historic typhoon that leveled the far eastern islands of the Philippines in the fall of 2013.

Sem returned to campus in September to accept the TruHero Award. To learn more about his endeavors, visit truman.edu/our-stories/alumni/dan-sem.

To nominate an individual for the TruHero Award, contact Brad Chambers at bchamber@truman.edu or (800) 452-6678.


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Update on Nepal Emergency Relief Fund
At the time of the earthquake in Nepal, Truman had 39 enrolled students from the country, with dozens of alumni and several others who had family there.

While none of them reported the loss of immediate family, they were nevertheless devastated by the tragedy in their country. Many survivors, including some of Truman students’ families, lost their homes and livelihoods.

In response to this tragedy, the Truman State University Foundation created the Nepal Emergency Relief Fund to provide financial educational support for students who were impacted by the earthquake. As of December, the Truman community has contributed gifts totaling more than $14,749 to the fund.

Those that wish to join other University alumni in supporting Truman Nepalese students can complete a gift online at nepalfund.truman.edu or contact the Advancement Office at (800) 452-6678.

Wrestling Celebrate 50 Years with Scholarship

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In its 50-year history, Truman wrestling has had many impressive accomplishments, including two individual national champions and 19 NCAA Division II academic All-American awards. Truman wrestling is the only Division II program to win six academic national titles and the only one to do so four years in a row.

When members of the Truman wrestling family came together to honor the program’s golden anniversary during Homecoming 2015, they celebrated another milestone – the announcement of a new endowed scholarship. The Meyer/Schutter Family Wrestling Scholarship, established by Greg Meyer and head coach David Schutter, will provide valuable assistance for Truman wrestlers.

“Wrestling has always been positive in my life, and this is a way for me to give back to wrestling,” Schutter said. “The fact that I can also give back to Truman State University, which has supported the great sport of wrestling since 1965, lets others know the importance of paying it forward.”

Wrestling alumni from all over the country and from all different eras returned to Kirksville to celebrate the 50th anniversary. They had a chance to sit in on a practice session with current wrestlers, participate in the Homecoming parade and enjoy festivities at the Bulldog Forever Alumni Tailgate. The weekend’s activities wrapped up with the Bulldog Wrestling Reunion Banquet with more than 130 in attendance. Among those on hand were Merrick Meyer (’05), the 2004 national wrestling champion and 2015 Truman Hall of Fame inductee, as well as Curd Alexander (’71), the 1970 national wrestling champion, and original coach H.A. Walmsley.

“The first wrestling match I watched was the first one I coached – and we won,” Walmsley said.

Although Walmsley had coaching experience in tennis and football, he had no wrestling background prior to being named the first wrestling coach in 1965. During the next four seasons, the wrestlers compiled a dual record of 57-12-2 and finished first twice, second once and fourth once in the MIAA tournament.

The Meyer/Schutter Family Wrestling Scholarship will reach endowment levels in 2020 – providing a permanent source of scholarship support for Truman wrestlers.

“One of my goals is to endow multiple scholarships for wrestling,” Schutter said. “Now that the Meyer family has stepped forward to lead the way, hopefully others will join and make meaningful contributions to support the program.”

To support the scholarship, go to giveonline.truman.edu.

Gift Forges International Relationships

Chi and Candice Cheung

Chi and Candice Cheung

With the goal of facilitating increased cultural exchange between his native country and the United States, Chi Cheung and his wife Candice are providing an annual gift of $10,000 to the Foundation to support interns from Truman.

After immigrating from his ancestral home in Da Tian in the People’s Republic of China, Cheung built a successful community-based business in Jefferson City, Mo. In addition to their support of Truman, the Cheungs have a well-established history of philanthropic endeavors. They previously financed the building of a school in Chi’s rural hometown in the mountains of western China. In the fall of 2014, Truman students Michael Fentress and Summer Santos received the Cheung Annual Scholarship for the Truman EFL Internship in China and spent the semester teaching English at the school.

In June 2015, the Cheungs made a generous gift to a second fund, the New Horizons Support Foundation Scholarship. This fund provides renewable scholarships for students from rural China to cover tuition, room and board costs and related educational expenses at Truman. The inaugural recipient arrived on campus in the fall of 2015.

Former Faculty Member Establishes Scholarship to Help Business Students

Pyung and Sue Han of Mountain View, Calif., recently made a contribution of $25,000 to establish the Dr. and Mrs. Pyung E. Han Scholarship.

Designed to support high-achieving business administration students with financial need, the Han’s hope this scholarship will allow exceptional students the opportunity to attend Truman and develop extraordinary leadership skills. The scholarship will be available for upper-class business administration students who are already active in community and/or extracurricular activities and have demonstrated leadership.

Pyung Han served on the business faculty at Truman from 1981 to 2004. Although he has been away from Truman for a dozen years, his interest in the success of the University and its students has not wavered.

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Gift Supports Unique Internship

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Dr. Arnold Zuckerman

The Dr. Arnold Zuckerman Digital History Internship of Sustainability at Truman was created through a $15,000 gift from Zuckerman’s stepdaughter, Judi G. Schweitzer of Lake Forest, Calif. The fund provides an annual internship experience for a history student who also possesses an interest in honing his or her website design skills. Students selected for the internship work with Truman’s Sustainability Committee to develop an ongoing digital history of sustainability at the University.

The first intern selected was Tyler Chambers, who was asked to not only create a website about Truman’s sustainability program, but also to provide a visual topography of the program’s milestones. Chambers’ initial focus was on building a framework for how to tell the story of Truman’s significant achievements in sustainability. This was accomplished through the creation of an interactive timeline that highlights major events and includes links to other relevant information regarding the activity. It can be accessed online at sustainability.truman.edu/timeline.

Zuckerman, who passed away in 2008, was a professor of history at the University from 1963 to 1990. This fund commemorates his distinguished career as a scholar, research historian and dedicated teacher.